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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.

How am I defining a “good” or “bad” record? Well, that’s somewhat subjective. But you might be surprised to learn that over history, teams have won about 25% of their games when allowing 21+ points, and there hasn’t been quite as much variation as you would expect.2 So while it would probably help a little to adjust for era, it’s not as necessary as I would have originally thought.3

Here, take a look:4

win per 21

The best quarterback by this metric? Tom Brady. Brady has played in 106 games (including playoffs) where the Patriots allowed at least 21 points. In those games, Brady is 60-46, for a 0.566 winning percentage. Given that we would “expect” Brady to win 25% of those 106 games — that is, 26.5 games — Brady has exceeded expectations by 33.5 wins. All the usual caveats apply: wins should not be applied to the quarterback, there are lots of reasons not to read too much into the data, etc. But sometimes, it’s just good to do a data dump, even if you only find the information useful for trivia purposes.

RkQuarterbackGWLTWin %Win Ov ExpLast Yr
1Tom Brady106604600.56633.52014
2Peyton Manning148658300.439282014
3Brett Favre149549500.36216.752010
4Joe Montana64323200.5161994
5John Elway102406200.39214.51998
6Norm Van Brocklin68303530.46314.51960
7Randall Cunningham70313900.44313.52000
9Aaron Rodgers53252800.47211.752014
8Drew Brees121427900.34711.752014
10Johnny Unitas79304720.39211.251973
11Philip Rivers77304700.3910.752014
12Kurt Warner70284200.410.52009
13Tony Romo67274000.40310.252014
14Daryle Lamonica35181520.54310.251973
15Y.A. Tittle73274510.3779.251964
16Ken Stabler66254010.38691983
17Jake Delhomme48202800.41782010
18Rich Gannon68254300.36882004
19Dan Fouts100336700.3381987
20Bobby Layne66244110.37181962
21Joe Theismann49202900.4087.751985
22Ben Roethlisberger67244300.3587.252014
23Jim Kelly80275300.33871996
24Jack Kemp46182710.40271969
25Matt Ryan66234300.3486.52014
26Drew Bledsoe86285800.3266.52006
27Otto Graham2111910.5486.251955
28Milt Plum40152320.461967
29Steve McNair73244900.3295.752007
30Dan Marino117358200.2995.751999
31Boomer Esiason101317000.3075.751997
32Roger Staubach41162500.395.751979
33Gus Frerotte55193600.3455.252008
34Danny White43162700.3725.251987
35Steve Young64214300.32851999
36Frank Ryan40142420.37551968
37Andrew Luck29121700.4144.752014
38Tommy Kramer61204100.3284.751989
39Don Strock138500.6154.751988
40Joe Flacco50173300.344.52014
41Neil Lomax62204200.3234.51988
42Craig Morton57183810.3254.251982
43John Brodie93266430.2964.251973
44George Blanda61194110.324.251966
45Trent Green72225000.30642008
46Brian Sipe56183800.32141983
47Bill Nelsen48153120.33341972
48Ed Brown52163420.32741964
49Charlie Conerly31111910.3713.751961
50Donovan McNabb62194300.3063.52011
51Colin Kaepernick1981100.4213.252014
53Nick Foles167900.43832014
52Michael Vick62184310.29832014
54Jeff Hostetler32112100.34431997
55Stan Humphries44143000.31831997
56Marc Wilson28101800.35731990
57Len Dawson64184420.29731975
59Jay Cutler73215200.2882.752014
58Eli Manning97277000.2782.752014
60Jay Fiedler2181300.3812.752004
61Kordell Stewart38122600.3162.52003
63Matthew Stafford51153600.2942.252014
62Matt Schaub59174200.2882.252013
64Pat Ryan115600.4552.251988
65Terry Bradshaw47143300.2982.251982
67Brian Hoyer125700.41722014
66Andy Dalton3092010.31722014
68Mark Brunell80225800.27522009
69Brian Griese40122800.322008
70Bob Gagliano84400.521992
71Steve Grogan68194900.27921990
72Rex Grossman2581700.321.752011
73Doug Flutie2992000.311.752003
74Steve Bono135800.3851.751998
75Dave Krieg77215600.2731.751996
76Fran Tarkenton117308520.2651.751978
77Bart Starr57154020.2811.751971
78Rudy Bukich1751020.3531.751966
79Sammy Baugh135800.3851.751952
80Bob Waterfield135800.3851.751952
82Teddy Bridgewater63300.51.52014
81Russell Wilson145900.3571.52014
83Tim Tebow104600.41.52011
84Vince Young2271500.3181.52011
85Shane Matthews104600.41.52002
86Elvis Grbac3092100.31.52001
87Eric Zeier63300.51.51998
88Bernie Kosar58164200.2761.51995
89David Woodley2061310.3251.51985
90Ken Anderson74205400.271.51985
91Joe Namath74185240.271.51977
92John Stofa63300.51.51968
94Tom Flores38102620.2891.51967
93Babe Parilli62144260.2741.51967
95Butch Songin1651010.3441.51962
96Matt Flynn73400.4291.252013
97David Garrard39112800.2821.252010
98Bobby Hebert47133400.2771.251996
99Todd Blackledge1551000.3331.251989
100Kevin Sweeney32100.6671.251988
101Johnny Green114700.3641.251962
103Robert Griffin2882000.28612014
102Matt Cassel40112900.27512014
104Chris Simms83500.37512009
105Aaron Brooks56154100.26812006
106Jeff Blake68185000.26512003
107Don Majkowski2882000.28611996
108Gary Hogeboom2061400.311989
109George Mira42200.511971
110Dick Wood1851210.30611966
111George Ratterman124800.33311956
112Charlie Trippi83500.37511952
113Mark Sanchez37102700.270.752014
114Marlon Moore110010.752011
115A.J. Feeley93600.3330.752011
116Jamie Martin52300.40.752005
117Jim Miller134900.3080.752002
118John Friesz1751200.2940.751997
119Jason Garrett110010.751994
120Ed Rubbert110010.751987
121Matt Cavanaugh93600.3330.751986
122Clint Longley110010.751975
123Joe Gilliam31110.50.751974
124Randy Duncan110010.751961
125Tom Greene110010.751960
126Bobby Thomason1751200.2940.751957
127Jemeel Powell110010.751953
128Johnny Lujack93600.3330.751951
129Travis Tidwell110010.751950
130Bob Snyder110010.751943
131Christian Ponder2872010.2680.52014
132Matt Hasselbeck90236700.2560.52012
133Chris Redman103700.30.52009
134Bethel Johnson21100.50.52006
135Ray Lucas62400.3330.52002
136Rob Johnson1851300.2780.52001
137Mark Vlasic21100.50.51991
138Dieter Brock62400.3330.51985
139Norris Weese21100.50.51979
140Bob Lee103700.30.51977
141Don Horn62400.3330.51971
142Don Meredith46113320.2610.51968
143Warren Rabb41210.3750.51962
144Sam Etcheverry62400.3330.51962
145Tom Dublinski21100.50.51954
146Carl Brumbaugh21100.50.51934
168Kevin Kolb113800.2730.252012
147Marc Bulger67175000.2540.252009
149Quinn Gray31200.3330.252007
148Todd Collins113800.2730.252007
150Craig Krenzel31200.3330.252004
151Quincy Carter113800.2730.252003
152Danny Kanell113800.2730.252003
153Scott Zolak72500.2860.251998
154Wade Wilson3592600.2570.251998
155Mark Rypien3182300.2580.251995
156Jeff Kemp113800.2730.251991
158Eric Hipple2772000.2590.251989
157Tony Eason3182300.2580.251989
159Gary Kubiak31200.3330.251988
160Oliver Luck72500.2860.251986
161Pat Haden1951400.2630.251981
162Charley Johnson67154840.2540.251975
163Sam Wyche72500.2860.251970
164Eddie Wilson10010.50.251963
165Al Dorow3182300.2580.251962
166M.C. Reynolds31200.3330.251961
167Adrian Burk2351620.2610.251956
169Scott Tolzien20110.2502013
170Jon Kitna76195700.2502010
171Tommy Maddox2251610.2502005
172Tony Banks3282400.2502003
173Stan Gelbaugh41300.2501996
174Cody Carlson82600.2501994
175Jim McMahon3282400.2501994
176Ken O'Brien52133900.2501993
177Cliff Stoudt123900.2501988
178Turk Schonert41300.2501986
179Steve Fuller1641200.2501986
180Vince Ferragamo2872100.2501985
181Jim Hart86216410.2501983
182Bert Jones56144200.2501982
183Tom Owen41300.2501981
184Steve Myer41300.2501977
185Marlin Briscoe41300.2501968
186King Hill2461800.2501968
187John McCormick123900.2501968
188Richie Lucas41300.2501961
191Geno Smith1741300.235-0.252014
189Johnny Manziel10100-0.252014
190Ryan Mallett10100-0.252014
192Thaddeus Lewis51400.2-0.252013
193Chase Daniel10100-0.252013
194Jeff Tuel10100-0.252013
276Brady Quinn1331000.231-0.252012
275Joe Webb10100-0.252012
277Greg McElroy10100-0.252012
195Troy Smith51400.2-0.252010
196Brian St. Pierre10100-0.252010
197Damon Huard92700.222-0.252008
198Matt Mauck10100-0.252005
199Cody Pickett10100-0.252005
200John Navarre10100-0.252004
201Jarious Jackson10100-0.252003
202Dave Ragone10100-0.252003
203Matt Lytle10100-0.252001
204Clint Stoerner10100-0.252001
205Troy Aikman65164900.246-0.252000
206Stoney Case10100-0.251999
207Jonathan Quinn10100-0.251998
208Heath Shuler92700.222-0.251997
209Bill Musgrave10100-0.251996
210Doug Nussmeier10100-0.251996
211Jay Schroeder41103100.244-0.251994
212Mike Buck10100-0.251993
213Scott Secules10100-0.251993
214Cary Conklin10100-0.251993
216Browning Nagle51400.2-0.251992
215Will Furrer10100-0.251992
217Jeff Carlson10100-0.251991
218Erik Wilhelm10100-0.251991
219Babe Laufenberg51400.2-0.251990
220Anthony Dilweg51400.2-0.251990
221Frank Seurer10100-0.251987
222Dave Walter10100-0.251987
223Doug Hudson10100-0.251987
224Brent Pease10100-0.251987
225Sammy Garza10100-0.251987
226Jeff Van Raaphorst10100-0.251987
227Scott Tinsley10100-0.251987
228Mike Busch10100-0.251987
229Jim Crocicchia10100-0.251987
230Dan Manucci10100-0.251987
231Ken Karcher10100-0.251987
232David Norrie10100-0.251987
233Shawn Halloran10100-0.251987
234Reggie Collier10100-0.251986
235John Witkowski10100-0.251984
236David Humm10100-0.251981
237Mike Loyd10100-0.251980
238Mike Rae10100-0.251978
239Craig Penrose10100-0.251978
240Dave Mays10100-0.251977
241Jeb Blount10100-0.251977
242Roman Gabriel65144740.246-0.251976
243Parnell Dickinson10100-0.251976
244Jesse Freitas51400.2-0.251975
245J.J. Jones10100-0.251975
246Don Milan10100-0.251975
247Will Cureton10100-0.251975
248Neil Graff10100-0.251975
249Jerry Tagge51400.2-0.251974
250Dennis Morrison10100-0.251974
251Gary Keithley10100-0.251973
252Bob Davis71510.214-0.251972
253Leo Hart10100-0.251972
254Alan Pastrana10100-0.251970
255Greg Cook71510.214-0.251969
256Jim LeClair10100-0.251968
257John Huarte10100-0.251968
258Gary Lane10100-0.251967
259Steve Sloan10100-0.251967
260Scotty Glacken10100-0.251966
261Tom Kennedy10100-0.251966
262Galen Hall10100-0.251963
263Bob Waters10100-0.251963
264Terry Baker10100-0.251963
265Hunter Enis10100-0.251962
266Ron Miller10100-0.251962
267Tommy O'Connell91620.222-0.251961
268Joe Francis10100-0.251958
269Ogden Compton10100-0.251955
270Ed Mioduszewski10100-0.251953
271Arnie Galiffa10100-0.251953
272Tom Landry10100-0.251952
273Tommy Thompson10100-0.251950
274Bernie Masterson10100-0.251937
279Mike Glennon1431100.214-0.52014
278Austin Davis61500.167-0.52014
280Matt McGloin61500.167-0.52013
282Matt Moore61500.167-0.52011
281T.J. Yates20200-0.52011
283Caleb Hanie20200-0.52011
284Tyler Palko20200-0.52011
286Bruce Gradkowski1431100.214-0.52010
288Todd Bouman61500.167-0.52010
285Brian Brohm20200-0.52010
287Max Hall20200-0.52010
289Matt Leinart102800.2-0.52007
290Andrew Walter20200-0.52006
291Marques Tuiasosopo20200-0.52005
293Billy Volek61500.167-0.52004
292Koy Detmer20200-0.52004
294Jesse Palmer20200-0.52003
295Spergon Wynn20200-0.52001
296Moses Moreno20200-0.52000
297Neil O'Donnell46113500.239-0.51999
298Tony Graziani20200-0.51999
299Paul Justin61500.167-0.51998
300Bobby Hoying61500.167-0.51998
301Sean Salisbury61500.167-0.51996
302Dan McGwire20200-0.51994
303Todd Philcox20200-0.51993
304Andre Ware20200-0.51993
305Peter Tom Willis20200-0.51992
306Blair Kiel20200-0.51990
307Todd Hons20200-0.51987
308Matt Stevens20200-0.51987
309Guido Merkens20200-0.51987
311Mike Moroski61500.167-0.51986
310Tom Flick20200-0.51986
312Ed Luther61500.167-0.51984
313Scott Brunner1431100.214-0.51983
314Jerry Golsteyn20200-0.51983
315Steve Pisarkiewicz20200-0.51979
316June Jones20200-0.51979
317Mike Kirkland20200-0.51978
318Steve Spurrier2251700.227-0.51976
319Larry Cipa20200-0.51975
320Kim McQuilken20200-0.51975
321Bill Demory20200-0.51973
322Rick Arrington20200-0.51971
323Bruce Lemmerman20200-0.51969
324Ed Rutkowski20200-0.51968
326Billy Wade46113500.239-0.51965
325Tommy Wade20200-0.51965
327Don Breaux20200-0.51963
328Bob Clatterbuck20200-0.51960
329Jim Root81610.188-0.51956
330Gary Kerkorian61500.167-0.51954
331Ray Nagel20200-0.51953
332Chuck Ortmann20200-0.51952
334Kirk Cousins71600.143-0.752014
333Drew Stanton30300-0.752014
335Luke McCown71600.143-0.752011
336Trent Edwards1531200.2-0.752010
337Keith Null30300-0.752009
338Sage Rosenfels71600.143-0.752008
339J.T. O'Sullivan71600.143-0.752008
340Trent Dilfer47113600.234-0.752007
341Brooks Bollinger71600.143-0.752007
342Anthony Wright71600.143-0.752005
343Shaun King71600.143-0.752004
344Kurt Kittner30300-0.752003
346Kent Graham1531200.2-0.752000
345Cade McNown71600.143-0.752000
347Gale Gilbert30300-0.751995
348John Fourcade30300-0.751990
349Tom Ramsey30300-0.751989
350Kyle Mackey30300-0.751989
351Scott Bull30300-0.751978
352Pat Sullivan30300-0.751975
353Gary Cuozzo1531200.2-0.751972
354Tim Van Galder30300-0.751972
355Dan Darragh71600.143-0.751970
356Kay Stephenson30300-0.751968
357Larry Rakestraw30300-0.751968
358Ron Vander Kelen30300-0.751967
359Max Choboian30300-0.751966
360George Izo30300-0.751966
361Dennis Claridge30300-0.751966
362Ron Smith30300-0.751966
363Lee Grosscup30300-0.751962
364George Taliaferro30300-0.751953
365John Rauch30300-0.751951
367Blake Bortles81700.125-12014
366Ryan Lindley40400-12014
368Josh Johnson40400-12011
369John Beck40400-12011
370Charlie Frye1221000.167-12009
371Brad Johnson48113700.229-12008
372Charlie Batch2862200.214-12007
373Tim Hasselbeck40400-12003
374Alex Van Pelt81700.125-12001
375Brock Huard40400-12000
377Warren Moon104257900.24-11998
376Donald Hollas40400-11998
378T.J. Rubley40400-11993
379Doug Williams3682800.222-11988
380David Archer1221000.167-11987
381Joe Dufek40400-11984
382Mike Phipps2862200.214-11980
383Bill Troup81700.125-11978
384Gary Marangi40400-11976
386Sonny Jurgensen80175940.238-11974
385Wayne Clark40400-11974
387Jim Del Gaizo40400-11974
388Jerry Rhome60510.083-11970
389Dewey Warren40400-11968
390Terry Nofsinger40400-11967
391George Herring40400-11961
392Ted Marchibroda40400-11956
393Steve Romanik81700.125-11953
395Bob Celeri101810.15-11952
394Bob Williams40400-11952
397EJ Manuel91800.111-1.252014
396Charlie Whitehurst50500-1.252014
425John Skelton91800.111-1.252012
398Tarvaris Jackson1731400.176-1.252011
399Derek Anderson2552000.2-1.252010
400Byron Leftwich2552000.2-1.252009
401J.P. Losman1731400.176-1.252008
402Cleo Lemon50500-1.252007
403Tim Rattay1321100.154-1.252006
404Steve Beuerlein49113800.224-1.252003
405Danny Wuerffel50500-1.252002
406Ty Detmer1731400.176-1.252001
407Steve Stenstrom50500-1.251999
408Craig Whelihan91800.111-1.251998
409Craig Erickson2141700.19-1.251996
410Todd Marinovich50500-1.251992
411Tom Tupa50500-1.251991
412Jeff Rutledge50500-1.251990
413Bruce Mathison50500-1.251985
414Art Schlichter50500-1.251985
415Bobby Scott91800.111-1.251977
416Scott Hunter1321100.154-1.251976
418Zeke Bratkowski2552000.2-1.251971
417Ed Hargett50500-1.251971
419Buddy Humphrey50500-1.251966
420George Wilson50500-1.251966
421Tobin Rote75175710.233-1.251964
422Ralph Guglielmi1721320.176-1.251963
423Fred Enke50500-1.251954
424Frankie Albert1731400.176-1.251952
426Zach Mettenberger60600-1.52014
428Kellen Clemens101900.1-1.52013
429Seneca Wallace101900.1-1.52013
427Case Keenum60600-1.52013
430Brodie Croyle60600-1.52010
431Jeff Garcia66155100.227-1.52008
432Chad Hutchinson60600-1.52004
433Frank Reich1421200.143-1.51998
434Bubby Brister3472700.206-1.51995
435Kelly Stouffer60600-1.51992
436Joe Ferguson82196300.232-1.51989
437John Reaves101900.1-1.51987
438Jim Plunkett70165400.229-1.51986
439Gifford Nielsen101900.1-1.51983
440Jeff Komlo101900.1-1.51981
441Matt Robinson101900.1-1.51980
442Earl Morrall4083110.213-1.51974
443Rick Norton101900.1-1.51969
444Tom Sherman60600-1.51968
445Gary Wood60600-1.51966
446Frank Tripucka3262510.203-1.51963
447Don Heinrich1211010.125-1.51962
450Kyle Orton3983100.205-1.752014
449Jake Locker1521300.133-1.752014
448Derek Carr1111000.091-1.752014
451Terrelle Pryor70700-1.752013
452Curtis Painter70700-1.752011
453Jimmy Clausen70700-1.752010
454Ken Dorsey1111000.091-1.752008
455Mike McMahon1111000.091-1.752005
456Chris Chandler83196400.229-1.752004
457Patrick Ramsey1111000.091-1.752004
458Akili Smith1111000.091-1.752002
459Glenn Foley70700-1.751998
460Tom Hodson70700-1.751992
461Rusty Hilger70700-1.751988
462Jim Zorn67155200.224-1.751985
463Richard Todd57124410.219-1.751984
464Jack Thompson1111000.091-1.751984
465David Whitehurst1521300.133-1.751981
466Steve Ramsey1111000.091-1.751976
467Al Woodall70700-1.751973
468Jack Concannon1521300.133-1.751970
469Karl Sweetan1111000.091-1.751968
470George Shaw1311110.115-1.751961
472Ryan Tannehill2442000.167-22014
471Shaun Hill1621400.125-22014
473Dan Orlovsky80800-22011
474Tyler Thigpen80800-22008
476Rodney Peete4083200.2-22003
475Doug Johnson80800-22003
477Dave Brown2852300.179-22000
478Steve DeBerg88206800.227-21998
479Hugh Millen1211100.083-21994
480Steve Pelluer1621400.125-21988
481Mark Herrmann80800-21987
482Tony Adams80800-21987
483Lynn Dickey60134700.217-21985
484Paul McDonald80800-21984
485Joe Reed80800-21979
486James Harris1211100.083-21978
487Marty Domres1621400.125-21977
488Mike Boryla80800-21976
489Virgil Carter1211100.083-21975
490Pete Liske1211100.083-21972
491Don Trull1411210.107-21969
492Jacky Lee1411210.107-21969
493Jack Scarbath80800-21954
494Daunte Culpepper65145100.215-2.252009
495Billy Joe Hobert90900-2.251999
496Jim Everett89206900.225-2.251996
497Scott Campbell90900-2.251990
498Steve Dils1311200.077-2.251988
500Bob Griese53114200.208-2.251980
499Greg Landry4383410.198-2.251980
501Billy Kilmer53114200.208-2.251978
502Terry Hanratty90900-2.251976
503Pete Beathard1721500.118-2.251972
504Joe Kapp1721500.118-2.251970
505Mike Taliaferro1721500.118-2.251970
506John Roach90900-2.251964
508Jim Finks2952400.172-2.251955
507Harry Gilmer90900-2.251955
510Josh McCown2642200.154-2.52014
509Brandon Weeden1411300.071-2.52014
511Chad Pennington3462800.176-2.52009
512Doug Pederson1001000-2.52000
513Chuck Long1001000-2.51988
514Steve Bartkowski66145200.212-2.51986
515Bob Avellini2231900.136-2.51984
516Jim Ninowski1001000-2.51968
517Cotton Davidson3252610.172-2.51966
518Jim Hardy1001000-2.51952
519Chad Henne3562900.171-2.752014
520Josh Freeman3562900.171-2.752013
521Kelly Holcomb1511400.067-2.752007
522Vince Evans1921700.105-2.751995
523Timm Rosenbach1511400.067-2.751992
524Dan Pastorini67145300.209-2.751981
525John Hadl81166230.216-2.751977
526Kent Nix1101100-2.751972
527Steve Tensi2332000.13-2.751970
528Sam Bradford2632210.135-32013
529Kyle Boller2021800.1-32011
530JaMarcus Russell1611500.063-32009
531Ryan Leaf1201200-32001
533Jim Harbaugh56114500.196-32000
532Scott Mitchell4073300.175-32000
534David Klingler1201200-31994
535Mike Pagel3252700.156-31990
536Dave Wilson1611500.063-31986
537Bill Munson2632210.135-31975
538Dick Shiner1811610.083-31973
539Dennis Shaw2221910.114-31972
540Bob Berry2021800.1-31972
541Colt McCoy1301300-3.252014
542Erik Kramer3763100.162-3.251999
543Gary Danielson3142610.145-3.251988
544Gary Huff1301300-3.251977
545Mickey Slaughter1501410.033-3.251966
546Cam Newton3242710.141-3.52014
547Chris Weinke1401400-3.52006
548Steve Walsh1401400-3.51996
549Bill Kenney3452900.147-3.51988
550Alex Smith4673810.163-42014
551Jake Plummer68135500.191-42006
552Rick Mirer3653100.139-42003
553Mark Malone2422200.083-41988
554Joe Pisarcik1601600-41984
555Tim Couch2932600.103-4.252003
556Randy Wright2112000.048-4.251988
557Blaine Gabbert1801800-4.52013
559Chris Miller5494500.167-4.51999
558Billy Joe Tolliver2622400.077-4.51999
560Bobby Douglass2622400.077-4.51976
561Jason Campbell3643200.111-52013
562Jack Trudeau2412300.042-51994
563Phil Simms60105000.167-51993
564Mike Livingston3643200.111-51979
565Mike Tomczak2922700.069-5.251999
566Lamar McHan4343720.116-5.751963
567Carson Palmer80146600.175-62013
568Ron Jaworski5064310.13-61989
569Kerry Collins90167400.178-6.52011
570Randy Johnson3423200.059-6.51975
571Joey Harrington3933600.077-6.752007
572Ryan Fitzpatrick4854300.104-72014
573Eddie LeBaron5454630.12-71963
574Vinny Testaverde109208900.183-7.252007
575Jeff George77126500.156-7.252001
576Norm Snead99148050.167-8.251976
577David Carr4634300.065-8.52007
578Archie Manning8157510.068-14.751984

As for Smith? There are 121 quarterbacks who started at least 40 games where their teams allowed 21+ points. Smith has the 8th worst winning percentage among that group, behind David Carr (0.065), Archie Manning (0.068), Fitzpatrick (0.104), Lamar McHan (0.116), Eddie LeBaron (0.120), Ron Jaworski (0.130), and Jeff George (0.156).

  1. Yes, that is not the same thing as his defense. []
  2. Well, there’s some variation, but that’s to be expected. But if the rate was dramatically difference in ’92 compared to ’89, that’s probably a small sample size issue and not an era issue. Rates are around 25% now, which they were in the ’80s and ’60s and even in ’74. []
  3. And since I’m lazy, I’m not going to adjust for era. []
  4. I will pose a question to the crowd. I know there is a very loud crowd that hates graphs where the Y-axis does not go to zero. Here, I could do that, which would show that the variation is not that great. But I think people know how to read axes, so they’d benefit from something like this over a lot of blank white space. What do you think? []
  • Bryan Frye

    Are you only including games that a QB started, or are you including all games in which a QB plays a significant portion of snaps (e.g., Matt Cassel week 1 of 2008, NVB/Waterfield, early Staubach)? Also, are you only including games played after 1950? I can’t find anywhere you say that, but it looks a lot like that is the case.

    • Correct — I am only including games that the QB started according to PFR. Most of the PFR boxscores on starters only go back to 1950, so that’s what I’m including (some playoff games before that are included, and I included those; basically, any game where I know who the starter was, I included).

      • Bryan Frye

        I don’t know if I’m using the exact same games you are, so this might not be 100% accurate. Just looking at Hall of Fame or future Hall of Fame QBs, ten of them saw their teams allow 21 or more points in half of their starts. The ratios for Van Brocklin are especially bad, but Brees and Fouts had terrible luck too.

        Then you see the bottom of the list, which is full of guys with multiple rings, and a bunch of them had defenses that allowed 21+ less than 40% of the time. Defense might not win championship, but it sure helps.

        I did a similar study to this but with 30 points as the threshold, and Jim Kelly had by far the best record, if I remember correctly.

        The numbers for Baugh are skewed because of how PFR counts his games.

        • Chad

          Can you add in Rivers and Romo’s numbers on this table?

          • Bryan Frye

            As you wish

            • Zach

              One thing that stands out is Marino’s defenses stack up fairly well to guys like Jim Kelly and Fran Tarkenton who’s defenses were much more lauded (although I guess Tarkenton’s numbers include his time playing for the woeful Giants).

              • Bryan Frye

                With Tarkenton, not only did he spend time with the Giants, but his time with the Giants was during the best years of the Vikings defense.

                Because I’m a dork, I made another table that shows QB winning% when their teams allow 50%, 75%, 100%, 125%, 150%, and 200% of the league average points in a game (so this year the average team scored 22.6 ppg, so 50% is 11.3. Rocket science!). The table in the picture is sorted by 100%.

                • Zach

                  So Brady wins 76% when he team allows 2x the league average in points? That seems insanely high. But maybe I’m misinterpreting the data

                  • Bryan Frye

                    I just didn’t communicate my point effectively. He wins that much when his teams allows less than 2x the league average points. Brady’s defense has never actually allowed that many points. He, Dawson, and Lamonica are the only guys from the table whose defense has never allowed 2xLgAvPts. Fouts is in last place; his teams allowed 2xLAP in 7.3% of his starts.

                  • Bryan Frye

                    In terms of records when their team allows 2xLgAv, the leader is Staubach who won the only such game he started. Next is Tarkenton who went 2-9, followed by Warner’s 1-6 and Manning’s 1-7. Namath was 1-8, and Fouts was 1-12. No other QB from the list won a game when his team gave up so many points.

                    Unrelated: Roethlisberger’s teams have allowed half the LgAvPts in 31.7% of his starts, which is even greater than Bradshaw’s teams (31.1%).

              • Richie

                I don’t know if I’ve ever seen any detailed analysis to back it up, but at the time the theory with Buffalo’s defense was that it was pretty good. But it gave up a lot of yards and points because Buffalo’s no-huddle offense would score quickly, and put the defense on the field more often.

                PFR doesn’t have drive charts back to the early 90s. So I estimate drives by taking total plays divided by 5 or 6 plays per drive average. In 1991 (for instance) it looks like the Bills were allowing about 1.5 to 1.8 points per drive. That would put them in the top half of the league in that metric, and much closer to #1 than to #28.

                But if you look at total points allowed, or Defensive Simple Rating, the Bills come out a bit worse, generally ranking in the bottom half of the league.

  • Clint

    I think it’s interesting that Daryle Lamonica was 18-15-2 which is very good. Most great quarterbacks seem to only win 30-40%

    • Cause Lamonica was the man.

      • Gotta say that Lamonica, Graham and Brady as the only dudes with a winning record while giving up 21 is a pretty sweet trinity.

        • Richie

          Don’t forget about Don Strock.

          • Andrew Healy

            Don Strock! I think it’s pretty interesting how things look when sorting by wins over expectation. All very good and mostly great QBs in the top 25, but look who shows up at #17.

  • Drew Vogel

    I think you’re right that normalizing for era isn’t required here but the question pre-supposes that the only valid offensive strategy is to maximize points through yard efficiency. Alex Smith supporters like Andy Reid would probably argue that the only real conclusion you can draw from this is that they lose when they fail to execute their whole-team game plan. Perhaps you could divide the win rate of each QB by the percentage of the seconds in those games where the QB’s DEF was on the field? Could be a nice first shot at analyzing whether Alex Smith is effectively executing the offensive side of Andy Reid’s game plan.

  • Eric Holland

    Does this take into account game scripts at all? Garbage time touchdowns may skew perceptions. Perhaps it would be more interesting to see what a QB’s record is when his team is down 14?

    • It does not. Just points allowed.

  • Richie

    Don Strock started 22 games in his career. Of those, 13 times his team allowed 21+ points? But then he managed to win 62% of THOSE games? Is there something interesting going on here, or just a sample size fluke?

    But then, Strock was 16-6 as a starter (I never would have guessed that). Most of his starts came during the stretch when Miami was a good defensive team. It’s almost like the defense figured they could take it easy because they knew Strock was going to put up some points.

    • Richie

      Don Strock’s teams averaged scoring 24.6 points in games he started.

  • mrh

    As a Chiefs fan and some-time Alex Smith apologist, I’d first say that Smith is sometimes unfairly maligned for the dumpster fire franchise he started with in the NFL. While he certainly didn’t lift the 49ers above where they were when he joined, I’m not sure how much of the blame belongs to him.

    Smith’s W-L record when his team allowed 21+ was 2-24 pre-Harbaugh (0.077) and is 5-14-1 (0.275). So he was even worse when playing with terrible coaches and has been average with competent coaching.

    Similarly, when his team allowed less than 21 pts, pre-Harbaugh he was 16-7 (0.696) and post-Harbaugh he has been 35-4-1 (0.888). I’ll venture the first percentage is bad and the 2nd is around average.

    Smith is probably not going to lift a team up but I don’t really think he is dragging it down.

    • James

      “Similarly, when his team allowed less than 21 pts, pre-Harbaugh he was 16-7 (0.696) and post-Harbaugh he has been 35-4-1 (0.888). I’ll venture the first percentage is bad and the 2nd is around average.”

      If teams win 25% of the games when they allow than 21 points, don’t they inherently have to win 75% of games when they allow less than 21 points? So I’d imagine a 0.888 win percentage is around the 70th percentile or so.

      • Luis Morganho

        No, you’re misshandling statistics. If teams win 25% of the games when they allow than 21 points, it means they lose 75% of the games when they allow more than 21 points. That’s all it means.

        Ex: Team A is 2-6 while allowing more than 21 points (25% win percentage) and 4-4 while allowing less than 21 points (50% win percentage). The percentages are independent from each other.

        • James

          You misunderstood, I meant *all* teams combined win 75% of their games when allowing fewer than 21 points. Therefore Alex’s recent percentage of 88.8% is much higher than the “expected” 75%.

          • Luis Morganho

            Again, you’re missunderstanding statistics. Teams’ win% when allowing under 21 points is completely independent from teams’ win% when allowing over 21 points. In 2014, teams were .260 when allowing 21 or over and .783 when allowing 20 or less. There is no connection between the two. 75% in not the “expected” percentage when teams allow 20 or less.

            • James

              I see my mistake now, thanks.

          • Not a zero sum game. Points are not a finite resource.

  • MIT pats Fan

    4. (A) Forget the non-zero Y-axis crossing, what’s with an X-axis representing time that goes RIGHT to LEFT?

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  • Alex Smith went 1-3 in the regular season in 2015 when the Chiefs allowed 21+ points, with the win coming when KC beat Buffalo, 30-22. Add in the playoff loss today, and Smith is now 8-42-1 when his team allows 21+ points.

  • WR

    Anyone know why Brady is such an outlier by this metric? I was recently working on a project that involved some of this data for active players, so I already knew Brady was great by this measure. But how can he be so far ahead of everyone else? Is it something skill-related, or something else entirely? I’m baffled.