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Archive for the 'Totally Useless' Category

Passer Personality Types, part two

Posted by Jason Lisk on August 17, 2009

You probably want to read part one if you haven’t already done so, or this won’t make much sense.

I think most people have certain preferences when it comes to quarterbacks and how they play. Some like the fun loving gregarious bombers; others prefer tacticians who quietly go about their business and avoid the costly mistake. As we will see below, successes have occurred in most personality types. Nevertheless, we may all have our preferences—the lenses through which we view the player.

What was your gut reaction to the Jay Cutler trade involving Kyle Orton? I’m not talking about your reaction to all the off-season drama, but rather, your reaction to whether Cutler is a substantial upgrade over Orton, or whether Chicago overpaid for the difference. The exchange of those two quarterbacks involves the exchange of vastly different styles. Orton didn’t make this list because he hasn’t quite made it to 1,000 career passes (a mark he should reach this season), but his personality type is CSVG, and pretty strongly so, which we will see is almost exactly opposite of Cutler with the exception of the Gambler trait.

24 Comments | Posted in Totally Useless

Passer Personality Types, part one

Posted by Jason Lisk on August 14, 2009

We've spent this week on quarterbacks, so I'm going to close the week of quarterbacks on a slightly more frivolous note.

Some of you may be familiar with the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator Test. If you are not, it basically has four sub-categories (such as introversion versus extroversion), and a person's Meyers-Briggs personality type is based on the categorization in each of the four categories. There are, as a result, 16 different personality types.

Borrowing from that, I developed four passer personality sub-types, that I then combined into 16 different personality types. I'm not, however, looking at whether a quarterback prefers to read his playbook alone or discuss it in large groups, or whether the quarterback prepares well in advance, or is a procrastinator. Instead, I am using the quarterback's statistics in five key categories, and the interaction between those categories, to classify the quarterbacks.

16 Comments | Posted in Totally Useless

The SEC and Big XII schedules are weird. The ACC’s slightly less so.

Posted by Doug on October 2, 2008

Yesterday Chase proposed a fairly major modification of the Adjusted Yards Per Attempt statistic that is the basis of his various passer rating formulae. In particular, he is proposing to increase the TD bonus from 10 yards to 17 or 18. I intend to argue in a future post that that number should be 20.

But that has to wait, because I am fascinated by a bizarre and obscure topic that no one else cares about, and I have to tell you all about it....

I'm sure there are bigger schedule-o-philes in the world than me, but I'm generally in tune with how sports schedules operate and what their consequences are. So I'm ashamed to say that the SEC and Big XII have existed in their current two-division, 12-team format for more than a decade now, but I've never sat down and worked out how the interdivisional schedules work in those two conferences.

I did so this week, and was surprised by what I found. The main point of this post is to try to find people who have explanations for why these schedules are structured as they are.

For the sake of definiteness, I'll talk about the 2008 Big XII regular season schedule. With the appropriate mapping of teams to teams, the 2008 SEC schedule is identical. The 2008 ACC schedule is different; I'll talk about that later. I haven't checked earlier years to see if the 2008 system is the standard or if the schedule structure varies.

The Basics

The Big XII is divided into two divisions (called North and South) of six teams each. Each team plays every team in its own division once. Each team plays three of the six teams in the other division. For the purposes of this post, the intradivisional games are uninteresting. What I'm interested in is how to decide which three North teams a given South team will play.

Three natural ways to construct the schedule

1. All members of the Big XII North hold hands and stand in a circle. All members of the South hold hands and stand in a circle just inside the North circle. Align the circles so that a South team is standing directly inside each North team. That's your first opponent. Now leave the North circle stationary and rotate the inner circle 60 degrees. You're now standing next to your second opponent. Rotate again and you've got your third opponent. Done.

2. In each division, form two subdivisions of three teams each. South A plays North A and South B plays North B.

3. In each division, form three subdivisions of two teams each. South A plays North A, South B plays North B, and South C plays North C. Now everyone needs one more game. So each South A team could play a North B team, each South B team could play a North C team, and each South C team could play a North A team.

These three methods popped into my head immediately and, even after some thought, no other method did. So before I looked at the schedule, I figured it had to be one of these three.

It wasn't.

Here's how they do it

They divide the South into three subdivisions and the North into two. In the South, here is what we have:

Big XII South Division A: OU, Texas Tech
Big XII South Division B: Oklahoma State
Big XII South Division C: Texas, Baylor, Texas A&M

In the North, we have:

Big XII North Division A: Kansas, K-State, Nebraska
Big XII North Division B: Mizzou, Iowa State, Colorado

And the schedule is constructed as follows:

Everyone in South A plays everyone in North A
Everyone in South B plays everyone in North B
Everyone in South C plays one team from North A and two teams from North B

This strikes me as much more complicated than the three methods I outlined above, but what I find particularly strange is that it's not symmetric. The North and the South are not interchangeable. I guess there's no reason why they have to be, but don't humans naturally tend toward symmetry in their designs when possible?

The ACC's schedule is symmetric. Before I tell you about it, I'll go on a mini-rant about The New ACC in general: IF I LIVE TO BE A THOUSAND YEARS OLD, I WILL STILL NOT BE ABLE TO FIGURE OUT WHO IS IN WHICH DIVISION IN THE ACC. It drives me crazy. Part of the problem is a certain interchangeability and generic-ness of the teams themselves. But there also doesn't seem to be any geographical or other basis for remembering what's what. The divisions are named the Atlantic and the Coastal. How is that supposed to help me?

The ACC essentially breaks it down into two two-team subdivisions and two one-team subdivisions in each division. I'll call the one-team subdivisions A and D and the two-team subdivisions B and C. With that, A plays A and B, D plays C and D. Then each team in B plays one team from B and one team from C. There may be a better way to visualize that, but it's not equivalent to any of the three methods I outlined at the beginning of the post.

My questions and comments

1. Does anyone know anything about the history of these schedule structures? Have they always been like this or do they vary?

2. Assuming they've always been like this, how did they decide on these methods? The Big XII / SEC schedule strikes me as something that was either the result of a whole lot of thought or no thought at all. There may well be a good reason for it and I'm just not seeing it. If so, what's the reason? If not, do you think they just started pairing teams up willy-nilly and this is what they ended up with?

3. Also assuming they've always done this, does anyone know how the teams rotate through the various subdivisions from year to year?

4. My interest in this investigation comes from issues of fairness. Among these methods, which one maximizes the probability of the best team winning the conference? Or does it not make any difference? That question is pretty high on my long-term to-do list right now.

5. I have ruled out the following as explanations for the weirdness of these schedule structures:

5a. The fact that it is necessary to alternate home games. I'm pretty sure the Big XII schedule stays the same for two years at a time, with only the locations alternating. This could be done with any schedule structure.

5b. The fact that certain interdivisional games have to take place every year. I believe Tennessee and Alabama play every year despite being in opposite divisions. Maybe Georgia and Auburn do too. Florida State and Miami? Anyway, I don't see how this explains the structure. Regardless of the structure, a rearrangement of the teams within the structure could ensure that Tennessee and Alabama are always paired up.

5c. The fact that it is desirable (I assume) for every team to play every other team an equal number of times in the long run and/or for the mixture of visiting opponents in every city to be kept "fresh" in some sense. Again, these goals could easily be accomplished by an appropriate year-to-year shuffling of teams, regardless of the schedule structure.

6. Has anyone ever read an article about these scheduling procedures? Does anyone have any idea about someone I could contact to find out more information about how they came to be?

16 Comments | Posted in College, Totally Useless

John David Booty (what’s in a name?)

Posted by Jason Lisk on June 13, 2008

Many of the posts here at the blog contain some serious analysis. This, unfortunately, will not be one of them. I should also add that the opinions and bad jokes contained herein do not necessarily reflect the views of Pro-Football-Reference.com or its parent corporation, Sports Reference, LLC.

Today, I am going to discuss John David Booty. But I'm not going to focus on his measurables, such as the size of Booty. Nor am I going to pontificate on his intangibles, like pocket presence, ability to maintain mechanics under pressure, or release, to assess how frequently Booty will be hit, smacked or sacked in the NFL. And I'm certainly not going to address his ability to wiggle or shake (or lack thereof). No, I'm going to explore the question "what is in a quarterback's name?" Or in Mr. Booty's case, two names.

The two named individual has a long and storied tradition, from former Presidents to children's fairy tale writers to professional bowlers. The music industry, particularly the Country and Western wing, is a popular destination for the person sporting two names. Such singers have given us timeless classics like "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother", "Achy Breaky Heart", and "Just a Gigolo." Acting is another field where two- named persons figure prominently. Tommy Lee Jones, Billy Bob Thornton, and Edward James Olmos. Police Chief Carlin from Fletch. Lando Calrissian and the voice of Darth Vader. The original Rusty, Farmer Ted, the Brain, and Gary. Doogie Howser. Stringfellow Hawke. Okay, so maybe not all Oscar-worthy performances, but certainly they had an impact on my youth.

What then, of the two named quarterback? When the Vikings selected John David Booty in the fifth round of the 2008 draft, they revived the lineage of the two named quarterback, which had been dormant since Billy Joe Hobert last turned in his unread playbook for good following the 2001 season. Okay, so maybe it's not so long and storied.

4 Comments | Posted in Totally Useless

Fun QBs (Part 2)

Posted by Chase Stuart on August 7, 2007

Yesterday, we took a look at which QBs have had really fun and really boring seasons. Well it only makes sense now to check out the career list, broken up by era. It's pretty clear to see that each decade breeds more and more boring QBs. The transformation from the vertical game of the AFL to the West Coast Offense and efficient passing games of today makes it necessary to separate out players from different decades. Note: Only QBs with 50 career TDs + INTs were eligible.

Top 10 most passers that debuted before 1960:


Fun Player Cmp Yard TD INT Debut Year
23.68 Sid Luckman 904 14686 137 132 1939
22.91 Lamar McHan 610 9449 73 108 1954
22.76 Ed Brown 949 15600 102 138 1954
21.74 Eddie LeBaron 898 13399 104 141 1952
21.50 Adrian Burk 500 7001 61 89 1950
21.47 Bob Waterfield 814 11849 97 128 1945
21.46 Johnny Lujack 404 6295 41 54 1948
21.15 Cotton Davidson 770 11760 73 108 1954
21.03 Babe Parilli 1552 22681 178 220 1952
21.00 George Ratterman 299 4279 39 41 1950

In the '60s:


Fun Player Cmp Yard TD INT Debut Year
21.09 Steve Tensi 369 5558 43 46 1965
20.73 Daryle Lamonica 1288 19154 164 138 1963
20.39 Jacky Lee 430 6191 46 57 1960
19.96 Don Meredith 1170 17199 135 111 1960
19.95 John McCormick 214 2895 17 38 1962
19.88 Joe Namath 1886 27663 173 220 1965
19.88 Bill Nelsen 963 14165 98 101 1963
19.79 Tom Flores 838 11959 93 92 1960
19.74 Pete Beathard 575 8176 43 84 1964
19.71 Johnny Green 275 3921 26 34 1960

In the '70s:


Fun Player Cmp Yard TD INT Debut Year
20.16 Matt Robinson 244 3519 18 38 1977
19.50 Steve Grogan 1879 26886 182 208 1975
19.21 Steve Ramsey 456 6437 35 58 1970
19.03 Terry Bradshaw 2025 27989 212 210 1970
18.96 Matt Cavanaugh 305 4332 28 30 1979
18.75 Scott Hunter 335 4756 23 38 1971
18.25 Dennis Shaw 489 6347 35 68 1970
17.98 Jim Plunkett 1943 25882 164 198 1971
17.95 Vince Evans 704 9485 52 74 1977
17.93 Lynn Dickey 1747 23322 141 179 1971

In the '80s. [Note: 1980 takes six of the top ten spots (and the 11th one, as well), so I'm going to show the top 10 that debuted in the '80s, along with the next best five that debuted from 1981-1989]:


Fun Player Cmp Yard TD INT Debut Year
17.96 Jay Schroeder 1426 20063 114 108 1985
17.60 Marc Wilson 1085 14391 86 102 1980
17.13 Jeff Kemp 479 6230 39 40 1981
16.81 Dave Wilson 551 6987 36 55 1981
16.80 Cliff Stoudt 359 4506 23 38 1980
16.77 Mike Tomczak 1248 16079 88 106 1985
16.67 Eric Hipple 830 10711 55 70 1980
16.66 Scott Brunner 512 6457 29 54 1980
16.58 Bill Kenney 1330 17277 105 86 1980
16.53 Paul McDonald 411 5269 24 37 1980

16.42 Todd Blackledge 424 5286 29 38 1983
16.40 Boomer Esiason 2969 37920 247 184 1984
16.16 Mike Pagel 756 9414 49 63 1982
16.11 Steve Beuerlein 1894 24046 147 112 1988
16.06 Mark Rypien 1466 18473 115 88 1988

In the '90s or later:


Fun Player Cmp Yard TD INT Debut Year
16.92 Ben Roethlisberger 644 8519 52 43 2004
16.24 Craig Erickson 591 7625 41 38 1992
15.86 Rex Grossman 367 4496 27 26 2003
15.75 Gus Frerotte 1427 18120 95 79 1994
15.68 Kurt Warner 1645 20591 125 83 1998
15.68 Michael Vick 930 11505 71 52 2001
15.59 Trent Green 2143 26963 157 101 1997
15.51 Ryan Leaf 317 3666 14 36 1998
15.51 Tommy Maddox 686 8087 48 54 1992
15.50 Jake Delhomme 1151 13965 92 63 1999

Now let's take a look at the most boring QBs, also sorted by debut year.

Pre-1960:


Fun Player Cmp Yard TD INT Debut Year
17.19 Frank Tripucka 879 10282 69 124 1949
17.21 John Brodie 2469 31548 214 224 1957
17.68 Bart Starr 1808 24718 152 138 1956
17.71 Frankie Albert 316 3847 27 43 1950
17.81 Sonny Jurgensen 2433 32224 255 189 1957
18.19 Milt Plum 1306 17536 122 127 1957
18.23 Bill Wade 1370 18530 124 134 1954
18.38 Len Dawson 2136 28711 239 183 1957
18.45 Jim Finks 661 8622 55 88 1949
18.49 Y.A. Tittle 2118 28339 212 221 1950

1960's:


Fun Player Cmp Yard TD INT Debut Year
15.44 Virgil Carter 425 5063 29 31 1968
15.62 Jack Concannon 560 6270 36 63 1964
15.71 Steve Spurrier 597 6878 40 60 1967
15.88 Bill Munson 1070 12896 84 80 1964
16.14 Roman Gabriel 2366 29444 201 149 1962
16.20 Mike Livingston 912 11295 56 83 1968
16.52 Greg Landry 1276 16052 98 103 1968
16.67 Karl Sweetan 269 3210 17 34 1966
16.87 Gary Cuozzo 584 7402 43 55 1963
16.88 Fran Tarkenton 3686 47003 342 266 1961

1970's:


Fun Player Cmp Yard TD INT Debut Year
14.47 Steve Dils 504 5816 27 32 1979
14.68 Steve Fuller 605 7156 28 41 1979
14.92 Joe Montana 3409 40551 273 139 1979
15.25 Gary Huff 392 4329 16 50 1973
15.39 Steve Deberg 2874 34241 196 204 1978
15.59 Archie Manning 2011 23911 125 173 1971
15.74 Ken Anderson 2654 32838 197 160 1971
15.98 Joe Theismann 2044 25206 160 138 1974
16.05 Gary Danielson 1105 13764 81 78 1976
16.09 Brian Sipe 1944 23713 154 149 1974

1980's:


Fun Player Cmp Yard TD INT Debut Year
13.96 Steve Bono 934 10439 62 42 1985
14.01 Troy Aikman 2898 32942 165 141 1989
14.04 Hugh Millen 560 6440 22 35 1987
14.07 Jim Harbaugh 2305 26288 129 117 1987
14.15 Rich Gannon 2533 28743 180 104 1987
14.20 Steve Walsh 713 7875 40 50 1989
14.33 Bernie Kosar 1994 23301 124 87 1985
14.57 Ken O'Brien 2110 25094 128 98 1984
14.89 Erik Kramer 1317 15337 92 79 1987
14.91 Jack Trudeau 873 10243 42 69 1986

1990's or later:


Fun Player Cmp Yard TD INT Debut Year
12.46 Shane Matthews 492 4756 31 24 1993
13.22 Jim Miller 610 6387 36 31 1995
13.27 David Carr 1243 13391 59 65 2002
13.40 Joey Harrington 1209 12478 72 77 2002
13.58 Brad Johnson 2619 28548 164 117 1994
13.59 Kyle Boller 578 6103 36 34 2003
13.62 Josh McCown 498 5431 25 29 2002
13.76 Danny Kanell 491 5129 31 34 1996
13.80 Chad Pennington 1081 11973 72 46 2000
13.82 Kent Graham 696 7822 39 33 1992

Other notable recent players:


Fun Player Cmp Yard TD INT Debut Year
15.31 Peyton Manning 3131 37586 275 139 1998
15.22 Eli Manning 690 8049 54 44 2004
15.20 Daunte Culpepper 1760 21097 137 89 1999
15.15 Trent Dilfer 1645 19352 106 117 1994
14.92 Jeff George 2298 27602 154 113 1990
14.87 Brett Favre 5021 57500 414 273 1991
14.80 Marc Bulger 1357 16233 95 59 2002
14.80 Carson Palmer 932 10768 78 43 2003
14.60 Drew Bledsoe 3839 44611 251 206 1993
14.58 Donovan McNabb 1898 22080 152 72 1999
14.36 Steve McNair 2600 30191 172 114 1995
14.34 Tom Brady 1896 21564 147 78 2000
14.19 Drew Brees 1481 16766 106 64 2001

[NOTE: ADDED AFTER 11:00 AM EST TODAY]

Here are the numbers for the 2006 season, minimum 200 attempts:

Donovan McNabb		18.04	180	2647	18	 6
Tony Romo 16.83 220 2903 19 13
Rex Grossman 16.29 262 3193 23 20
Ben Roethlisberger 16.21 280 3513 18 23
Michael Vick 16.17 204 2474 20 13
Carson Palmer 15.62 324 4035 28 13
Matt Hasselbeck 15.56 210 2442 18 15
Jason Campbell 15.43 110 1297 10 6
Vince Young 15.35 184 2199 12 13
David Garrard 15.24 145 1735 10 9
Drew Brees 15.01 356 4418 26 11
Peyton Manning 14.91 362 4397 31 9
Jake Plummer 14.82 175 1994 11 13
Damon Huard 14.72 148 1878 11 1
Philip Rivers 14.66 284 3388 22 9
Matt Leinart 14.59 214 2547 11 12
J.P. Losman 14.46 268 3051 19 14
Alex Smith 14.36 257 2890 16 16
Eli Manning 14.27 301 3244 24 18
Jon Kitna 14.20 372 4208 21 22
Andrew Walter 14.13 147 1677 3 13
Brett Favre 13.95 343 3885 18 18
Tom Brady 13.88 319 3529 24 12
Marc Bulger 13.79 370 4301 24 8
Chad Pennington 13.35 313 3352 17 16
Jake Delhomme 13.33 263 2805 17 11
Joey Harrington 13.05 223 2236 12 15
Mark Brunell 12.90 162 1789 8 4
Steve McNair 12.71 295 3050 16 12
Charlie Frye 12.42 252 2454 10 17
Brad Johnson 12.41 270 2750 9 15
Bruce Gradkowski 11.93 177 1661 9 9
David Carr 11.07 302 2767 11 12

I'll leave the commentary up to you guys, today.

2 Comments | Posted in Totally Useless

Fun QBs

Posted by Chase Stuart on August 6, 2007

Do you know who holds the modern record for yards per completion in a season? It's Jack Kemp, the former Buffalo Bills QB and United States Congressman. In 1964, Kemp averaged 19.20 yards per completion, easily the most for any QB since 1960 with at least 200 pass attempts. Here's a list of the top 20 QBs:

19.20	Jack Kemp	1964	buf
18.59	Tom Flores	1963	rai
17.87	Johnny Unitas	1964	clt
17.83	Craig Morton	1970	dal
17.81	George Blanda	1961	oti
17.75	Ed Brown	1963	pit
17.61	Bobby Layne	1960	pit
17.47	Tom Flores	1966	rai
17.39	Norm Snead	1963	was
17.38	Joe Namath	1972	nyj
17.13	Don Meredith	1965	dal
16.99	Terry Bradshaw	1970	pit
16.84	Eric Hipple	1981	det
16.83	Joe Namath	1968	nyj
16.70	John Hadl	1968	sdg
16.70	John Brodie	1961	sfo
16.64	Sonny Jurgensen	1962	phi
16.61	Cotton Davidson	1962	rai
16.60	Chris Chandler	1998	atl
16.45	Greg Landry	1971	det
16.45	Ed Brown	1964	pit
16.42	Jim Ninowski	1961	det
16.31	Johnny Unitas	1960	clt
16.28	Jack Kemp	1961	sdg
16.27	Jay Schroeder	1988	rai
And the bottom 25 QBs:
8.43	Bobby Hoying	1998	phi
8.94	Donovan McNabb	1999	phi
8.95	Doug Pederson	2000	cle
9.12	Mark Rypien	1993	was
9.15	Kordell Stewart	1999	pit
9.16	David Carr	2006	htx
9.31	Kelly Holcomb	2003	cle
9.32	Joey Harrington	2003	det
9.38	Bruce Gradkowski2006	tam
9.50	Gary Huff	1975	chi
9.56	Joe Namath	1976	nyj
9.62	Dan Pastorini	1973	oti
9.65	Anthony Wright	2005	rav
9.67	Roman Gabriel	1974	phi
9.70	Hugh Millen	1992	nwe
9.72	David Carr	2005	htx
9.74	Kelly Holcomb	2005	buf
9.74	Charlie Frye	2006	cle
9.77	Boomer Esiason	1992	cin
9.84	Kyle Orton	2005	chi
9.84	Jim McMahon	1993	min
9.85	Shane Matthews	1999	chi
9.85	Patrick Ramsey	2004	was
9.89	Mike Livingston	1978	kan
9.91	A.J. Feeley	2004	mia
Certainly, Kemp's 1964 season is interesting because of his high yards per completion rate. But there are some other peculiar notes about his stat line. Kemp completed an abysmal 44.2 percent of his passes, converting 119 of 269 passes. There have been 1280 quarterbacks to throw 200 passes in a season since 1960: Kemp ranks as the 27th worst on the list. In Mike Shanahan's only full season with the Raiders, both his QBs completed 44.1% of his passes. No wonder he didn't stay in California for very long. Here's a list of the worst 30:
35.3%	Gary Marangi	1976	buf
36.1%	Dick Wood	1966	mia
37.1%	Cotton Davidson	1962	rai
38.1%	Terry Bradshaw	1970	pit
39.0%	Johnny Green	1960	buf
39.8%	Tom Sherman	1968	nwe
40.3%	Steve Tensi	1967	den
40.4%	Bobby Douglass	1971	chi
40.6%	Babe Parilli	1965	nwe
40.7%	John McCormick	1965	den
41.0%	Pete Beathard	1967	oti
41.2%	John Hadl	1962	sdg
41.2%	Rusty Hilger	1988	det
41.4%	Jim Zorn	1977	sea
41.8%	Doug Williams	1979	tam
42.1%	George Blanda	1965	oti
42.7%	Jack Kemp	1966	buf
42.7%	Joe Pisarcik	1977	nyg
42.8%	Dan Darragh	1968	buf
43.5%	Bob Avellini	1976	chi
43.6%	Jack Kemp	1967	buf
43.7%	Randy Johnson	1966	atl
44.1%	George Herring	1961	den
44.1%	Steve Beuerlein	1988	rai
44.1%	Jay Schroeder	1988	rai
44.2%	Akili Smith	2000	cin
44.2%	Jack Kemp	1964	buf
44.3%	Jim Hart	1968	crd
44.5%	Ed Brown	1964	pit
44.7%	Vince Evans	1981	chi
And the best 30:
70.6%	Ken Anderson	1982	cin
70.3%	Steve Young	1994	sfo
70.2%	Joe Montana	1989	sfo
69.3%	Brian Griese	2004	tam
69.2%	Chad Pennington	2002	nyj
69.2%	Daunte Culpepper2004	min
69.1%	Troy Aikman	1993	dal
68.7%	Kurt Warner	2001	ram
68.3%	David Carr	2006	htx
68.0%	Steve Young	1993	sfo
67.8%	Carson Palmer	2005	cin
67.7%	Kurt Warner	2000	ram
67.7%	Steve Young	1996	sfo
67.7%	Steve Young	1997	sfo
67.6%	Rich Gannon	2002	rai
67.6%	Peyton Manning	2004	clt
67.4%	Kelly Holcomb	2005	buf
67.3%	Peyton Manning	2005	clt
67.3%	Steve Bartkowski1984	atl
67.0%	Peyton Manning	2003	clt
66.9%	Marc Bulger	2005	ram
66.9%	Steve Young	1995	sfo
66.8%	Joe Montana	1987	sfo
66.7%	Brian Griese	2002	den
66.7%	Ken Stabler	1976	rai
66.7%	Ken Anderson	1983	cin
66.7%	Steve Young	1992	sfo
66.4%	Ben Roethlisberger2004	pit
66.4%	Trent Green	2004	kan
66.3%	Peyton Manning	2002	clt

Those large data dumps are just the background for this post. Because Kemp's season gets even more interesting. Kemp threw 13 TDs against 26 INTs in 1964, which is pretty incredible considering he only had 269 pass attempts. His 9.67 INTs per 100 pass attempts ranks as the 5th worst of those 1280 QBs. Here are the top and bottom 10 INT rates:


11.1 Eddie LeBaron 1960 dal
11.0 Terry Bradshaw 1970 pit
10.4 George Herring 1961 den
10.0 George Blanda 1962 oti
9.7 Jack Kemp 1964 buf
9.4 Norm Snead 1973 nyg
9.2 John Hadl 1962 sdg
8.9 Dennis Shaw 1971 buf
8.6 Joe Namath 1975 nyj
8.5 Ralph Guglielmi 1960 was


0.4 Damon Huard 2006 kan
0.9 Steve Deberg 1990 kan
1.2 Steve Bartkowski1983 atl
1.2 Neil O'Donnell 1998 cin
1.2 Brian Griese 2000 den
1.2 Bart Starr 1966 gnb
1.3 Phil Simms 1990 nyg
1.3 Jim Harbaugh 1997 clt
1.3 Doug Flutie 2000 buf
1.3 Brad Johnson 2002 tam

That's right, Damon Huard last season had the lowest INT rate of the 1,280 QBs since 1960 to throw 200 passes in a season.

So roughly, every 20 times Jack Kemp threw a pass, he would have nine 20-yard completions, with one of those going for a TD, two INTs, and nine incompletions. Maybe it's the AFL'er in me, but that sounds pretty exciting to watch. So I've decided to come up with a fun index, centered around Mr. Kemp. Without putting too much thought into this (since this is, after all, filed under 'totally useless'), here's the formula:

[ ((Interceptions + Touchdowns) X 25) + Passing Yards ] / Completions

It's basically yards per completion, with a bonus for "big plays." Since both passing TDs and INTs are big plays, I weighed them the same. Both are fun to see.

Kemp had a fun score of 27.39, the highest in the modern era. He had 13 TDs, 26 INTs, 2285 passing yards and 119 completions. I think this "fun score" formula approximates what we're trying to get at, and since Kemp topped the list, I'm happy. Here are the top 30 most fun seasons to watch since 1960:

Fun	Player		Year	Team	Cmp	Yard	TD	INT
27.39 Jack Kemp 1964 buf 119 2285 13 26
26.02 Terry Bradshaw 1970 pit 83 1410 6 24
25.89 Tom Flores 1963 rai 113 2101 20 13
25.56 George Blanda 1961 oti 187 3330 36 22
24.89 Bobby Layne 1960 pit 103 1814 13 17
24.63 Jim Zorn 1977 sea 104 1687 16 19
23.85 Ed Brown 1963 pit 168 2982 21 20
23.79 John Hadl 1968 sdg 208 3473 27 32
23.76 Tom Flores 1966 rai 151 2638 24 14
23.56 Joe Namath 1972 nyj 162 2816 19 21
23.33 Don Meredith 1965 dal 141 2415 22 13
23.23 Craig Morton 1970 dal 102 1819 15 7
23.10 Norm Snead 1963 was 175 3043 13 27
22.92 Cotton Davidson 1962 rai 119 1977 7 23
22.85 Ed Brown 1964 pit 121 1990 12 19
22.85 Norm VanBrocklin1960 phi 153 2471 24 17
22.81 Cotton Davidson 1961 kan 151 2445 17 23
22.76 Sonny Jurgensen 1962 phi 196 3261 22 26
22.76 Johnny Unitas 1960 clt 190 3099 25 24
22.75 Y.A. Tittle 1962 nyg 200 3224 33 20
22.56 Cotton Davidson 1964 rai 155 2497 21 19
22.54 Bill Wade 1961 chi 139 2258 22 13
22.27 Charley Johnson 1962 crd 150 2440 16 20
22.03 Jay Schroeder 1988 rai 113 1839 13 13
22.02 Eric Hipple 1981 det 140 2358 14 15
21.99 Matt Robinson 1978 nyj 124 2002 13 16
21.97 John Hadl 1965 sdg 174 2798 20 21
21.89 Earl Morrall 1968 clt 182 2909 26 17
21.88 Jack Kemp 1961 sdg 165 2686 15 22
21.83 Johnny Unitas 1964 clt 158 2824 19 6

Of note: two pre-1960 QBs even beat mighty Jack. In 1943, Sid Luckman (29.04) had 110 completions (on 202 attempts), 2,194 passing yards, 28 TDs and 12 INTs. But if you lower the bar to 100 attempts, no one could match Joe Geri: despite completing just 41 of 113 passes (36.3%), he passed for 866 yards (21.12 yards per completion). Throw in 15 INTs and 6 TDs, and he has a fun score of 33.93.

You might notice that there aren't any QBs on the fun score list since 1990. Here are the top 25 most fun seasons since then:


Fun Player Year Team Cmp Yard TD INT
21.47 Chris Chandler 1998 atl 190 3154 25 12
19.50 Jay Schroeder 1990 rai 182 2849 19 9
19.32 Jeff George 1999 min 191 2816 23 12
19.10 Chris Miller 1991 atl 220 3103 26 18
18.81 Jake Plummer 1997 crd 157 2203 15 15
18.74 Kurt Warner 2000 ram 235 3429 21 18
18.67 Boomer Esiason 1990 cin 224 3031 24 22
18.55 Randall Cunningham 1998 min 259 3704 34 10
18.40 Heath Shuler 1994 was 120 1658 10 12
18.25 Vinny Testaverde 1993 cle 130 1797 14 9
18.23 Mark Rypien 1991 was 249 3564 28 11
18.19 Vinny Testaverde 1990 tam 203 2818 17 18
18.07 Ben Roethlisberger 2005 pit 168 2385 17 9
18.04 Donovan McNabb 2006 phi 180 2647 18 6
17.95 Peyton Manning 2004 clt 336 4557 49 10
17.92 Billy Joe Tolliver 1999 nor 139 1916 7 16
17.85 Trent Green 2000 ram 145 2063 16 5
17.81 Donald Hollas 1998 rai 135 1754 10 16
17.66 Jay Schroeder 1991 rai 189 2562 15 16
17.60 Rodney Peete 1990 det 142 1974 13 8
17.55 Kurt Warner 1999 ram 325 4353 41 13
17.50 Rodney Peete 1992 det 123 1702 9 9
17.49 Jeff Blake 1994 cin 156 2154 14 9
17.46 Steve Young 1991 sfo 180 2517 17 8
17.38 Daunte Culpepper 2000 min 297 3937 33 16

I think it's safe to say that Jay Schroeder was a pretty darn fun QB to watch: he's on this list twice, and his 1988 season even cracked the original list. Whatever happened, it sure wasn't boring. And don't be too surprised to see Chandler at the top of this list. The 1998 Falcons had Tony Martin and Terance Mathis catch 130 balls for 2,317 yards, 17.8 yards per catch. Chandler was incredible that season, leading Atlanta to the Super Bowl. A few of the players on here -- Jeff George, Vinny Testaverde, Jeff Blake -- were physical talents with rocket arms and exciting games, but will never be remembered as winners. And check out the 2000 Rams, with two QBs on this list. That was the Rams team that saw 1,011 points scored in their games, easily the most in league history.

How about the reverse? Here are the 25 most boring QB seasons since 1990.


Fun Player Year Team Cmp Yard TD INT
10.40 Bobby Hoying 1998 phi 114 961 0 9
11.07 David Carr 2006 htx 302 2767 11 12
11.09 Doug Pederson 2000 cle 117 1047 2 8
11.23 Mark Rypien 1993 was 166 1514 4 10
11.65 Kordell Stewart 1999 pit 160 1464 6 10
11.78 Brad Johnson 2001 tam 340 3406 13 11
11.85 Jeff George 1991 clt 292 2910 10 12
11.93 Bruce Gradkowski 2006 tam 177 1661 9 9
11.93 Anthony Wright 2005 rav 164 1582 6 9
11.97 Jim McMahon 1993 min 200 1968 9 8
12.15 Steve Walsh 1994 chi 208 2078 10 8
12.16 David Klingler 1993 cin 190 1935 6 9
12.16 David Carr 2005 htx 256 2488 14 11
12.16 Kelly Holcomb 2003 cle 193 1797 10 12
12.19 Rich Gannon 2003 rai 125 1274 6 4
12.24 Kyle Boller 2004 rav 258 2559 13 11
12.25 Shane Matthews 1999 chi 167 1645 10 6
12.26 Jim Harbaugh 1993 chi 200 2002 7 11
12.29 Jeff George 1993 clt 234 2526 8 6
12.37 Kurt Warner 2002 ram 144 1431 3 11
12.40 Rich Gannon 1991 min 211 2166 12 6
12.41 Brad Johnson 2006 min 270 2750 9 15
12.42 Charlie Frye 2006 cle 252 2454 10 17
12.42 Brad Johnson 2005 min 184 1885 12 4
12.48 Joey Harrington 2003 det 309 2880 17 22

Bobby Hoying was just awful: he had a 45.6 QB rating for the season. But the 2006 version of David Carr embodies exactly what the formula was intended to find -- really boring QBs. He was everything that Jack Kemp was not. You might remember that Carr tied the NFL single game record for consecutive completions against the Bills last season (sorry, Bill M.). While impressive, note that Carr threw for exactly 202 yards during that stretch. That ugly 9.18 yards per completion average barely topped his season average of 9.16 YPC. There was nothing interesting about the Texans' passing game last year, as Carr completed a ton of short passes for not very many yards. Eleven TDs on 442 passes isn't very exciting to watch. Maybe if Houston had drafted Reggie Bush, they would have been just a bit more fun.

Brad Johnson (2001 - Tampa, 2005-2006 - Minnesota) hasn't been very fun to watch, either. Thankfully him and Carr aren't starting anymore. But here's something interesting: Jeff George (twice), Kurt Warner and Mark Rypien all appear on the boring list, despite also appearing on the fun list! George was incredibly boring as a Colt in 1991, but eight years later he had the third most fun season since 1990 with the Vikings. That should finally settle the debate that Bill Brooks and Jessie Hester were no Randy Moss and Cris Carter. Warner was really fun with the Rams in 1999 and 2000, but by 2002 he had become boring. Throwing 11 INTs was the only thing he did that was exciting -- he had just 3 TD passes in 220 attempts that season. Similarly, Rypien was great and fun to watch in 1991, but two years later, he ran a boring and incompetent 'Skins offense. Amazingly, he had only 4 TDs in 319 attempts that year.

As you might imagine, there aren't very many boring QBs from before 1990. Only five QBs had scores below 13.00, and none were below 12.00. Gary Huff (1975, Chicago) was the most boring, followed by Roman Gabriel (1974, Philadelphia), Greg Landry (1977, Detroit), Eric Hipple (1986, Detroit) and Mike Livingston (1978, Kansas City).

Tomorrow, we'll switch from a seasons view to a careers view, and see how the QBs stack up.

18 Comments | Posted in Totally Useless

Leakage

Posted by Doug on November 29, 2006

Back in the old days of fantasy football, people computed their teams' score by opening up the Monday morning paper and scouring the box scores. In those days, it made sense to have rules like "one point for every ten yards rushing" instead of the more sensible "one tenth of a point for every yard rushing." The norm back then was that 40 yards was worth the same as 46 yards or 49 yards: 4 points. That made it much quicker to compute scores.

Now everyone who plays fantasy football utilizes some web-based service that will automatically compute scores for you, subject to whatever rules you specify. So there's no need for the cludgy round-down rules.

But a lot of leagues --- inlcuding two of the three that I'm in --- have kept the old system anyway. As far as I know, no real thought was given to the scoring system when we transitioned to a web-based league management system. We just kept the rules the same. I'm sure a lot of leagues (most?) did likewise.

Take a look at poor Charlie Frye.


Charlie Frye
WK PASS RSH REC
==================
1 132 44 0
2 244 10 0
3 298 6 0
4 192 -2 0
5 173 12 0
7 149 1 0
8 141 19 0
9 236 27 0
10 165 28 0
11 224 27 0
12 186 5 0

Assuming a rule of "one point per 25 yards" passing and "one point per ten yards" rushing, Charlie has lost 12.5 points because of needless rounding rules. He is the most unfortunate player of 2006 in this regard. He's got a 98, a 49, and a 24 in the passing column, plus a handful of 7s, 8s, and 9s rushing. According to my calculations, more than 12% of the yardage-based points he should have gotten leaked away to nowhere.

There are several burning questions that need to be answered here: what are the all-time greatest leakage totals in a season? Are certain kinds of players more prone to leakage than others? Or is it just dumb luck? Do I have any personal leakage-related anecdotes to share?

According to my records, the biggest leakage total of the last ten or so years belongs to Shaun Alexander from 2002:


Shaun Alexander 2002
WK PASS RSH REC
==================
1 0 36 36
2 0 37 46
3 0 37 8
4 0 139 92
5 0 0 0
6 0 96 25
7 0 30 16
8 0 58 38
9 0 67 48
10 0 42 2
11 0 18 23
12 0 145 6
13 0 74 77
14 0 123 8
15 0 127 15
16 0 79 6
17 0 67 14

He lost 18.5 points that season.

Now, is it just dumb luck, or can leakage be predicted to some extent? Well, luck does play a role as it appears that, leaguewide, the digits 0 through 9 are all equally likely to be the last digit of a rushing yardage total. However, it's no coincidence that the wide receiver hit hardest by leakage in 2006 is Chris Chambers. Why? Take a look:


Chris Chambers
WK PASS RSH REC
==================
1 0 0 59
2 0 3 55
3 0 39 39
4 0 14 28
5 0 18 29
6 0 1 60
7 0 0 29
8 0 0 0
9 0 0 58
10 0 2 66
11 0 0 44
12 0 0 23

Chambers has been unlucky for sure. But since he runs the ball more than just about any wide out, he loses points due to rounding on both his rushing total and his receiving total whereas most receivers only lose it on the receiving side. Chambers has 77 rushing yards this year, but only 50 of them "count" in most fantasy leagues. Running quarterbacks (like Charlie Frye) suffer the same fate. If you want to avoid leakage, stick with one-dimensional players. Also, of course, stick with players that get the bulk of their points from touchdowns. Touchdowns don't leak.

My footballguys.com colleague Jeff Pasquino says that fantasy football teams are like vacations. Everyone is glad to hear that you had one, but nobody wants to hear about the details. Nonetheless, I can't help but share the story that prompted me to do this important work.

Before Monday Night Football, I had a 28-point lead on my opponent, who had Donald Driver and Ahman Green playing for him. I went to bed at halftime and woke up to a boxscore indicating that Driver and Green had combined for exactly 28 points. So it's a tie.

But then I got word that a 7-yard completion to Driver was incorrectly credited to Green. This is not terribly uncommon and the people in charge of these things generally issue a correction on Wednesday or so. If this change gets made (which it will), then the receving yardage will change from this:


Green 46
Driver 82

to this:


Green 39
Driver 89

Seven yards going from one player to another on the same fantasy team will cause a point to evaporate and thereby change a tie into a win for me. I must be living right.

So now let me tell you about this vacation my family and I just took....

6 Comments | Posted in Totally Useless

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