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Archive for the 'Quarterbacks' Category

The Peyton Manningless Colts of Indianapolis

Posted by Chase Stuart on September 9, 2011

No one knows how the Colts will look without Peyton Manning. And we're about to find out much sooner than anyone in Indianapolis ever expected. Yesterday, Manning went under his third neck surgery in 19 months, and is expected to miss most, if not all, of the season. If Manning is indeed out for the year, what should we expect?

  • A few years ago, Doug noted that the average starting quarterback is worth 2.3 points, or about a win per season. A useful starting point, but no one has ever confused Manning with an 'average starting quarterback.'
  • Brian Burke says that the entire Colts passing offense -- of which Manning is the central figure -- is worth about 3.8 wins per season.

I'm less optimistic than most. I'm not going out on a limb if I tell you that the Colts are going to implode, but I think that's what's going to happen. If Manning is gone for 16 games, I would probably take the "under" even at 6 wins.

34 Comments | Posted in General, Quarterbacks

Sam Bradford’s rookie season has been incredibly overrated

Posted by Chase Stuart on August 16, 2011

Sam Bradford's rookie season has been incredibly overrated by nearly every football writer and talking head. If you wanted the perfect storm of a formula that would spit out an overrated rookie quarterback, you would want to have a quarterback who:

  • Finished near the top of the league in attempts, overinflating his yards and touchdown metrics. Yards and touchdowns aren't good ways to grade quarterbacks, but that doesn't stop people from doing just that;
  • Played for a team with just a couple of wins in the prior year, so the quarterback would get credit for any regression to the mean in the form of a significant increase in wins;
  • Played a really weak schedule that boosted the quarterback's individual stats and team wins; and
  • Played for a team whose defense got a lot better without adding any big names, so people can just think "what's the difference between them this year and last year? That rookie QB and not much else."

Some rookie quarterbacks will have some of those factors working in their favor, but Bradford has all four. This isn't a post blasting Bradford as much as it is blasting the Bradford backers. One of those includes the normally outstanding Mike Tanier, who thought Bradford had one of the best rookie seasons of all time. Kurt Warner thinks Bradford is going to be a superstar. Fantasy football fans are drafting him as the 15th quarterback in standard leagues. Article have been written based on the notion that the Rams have already drafted a future Super Bowl winner. Bradford's part-Aikman, part-Montana, part-Manning and part-Matt Ryan, but calling him part-Unitas would be too much.

60 Comments | Posted in Quarterbacks

Estimating ESPN’s QBR for Historical Seasons

Posted by Neil Paine on August 7, 2011

ESPN came out with a new quarterback rating ("Total QBR") on Friday, and if you haven't read Chase or Jason's takes, do so immediately. The early consensus seems to be this:

Pros:

  • It can't help but be better than the NFL's official passer rating
  • Based in large part on the strong analytical framework found in The Hidden Game of Football and the work of Aaron Schatz, Brian Burke, etc.
  • Takes into account all of a QB's actions (sacks, rushing carries, etc.)
  • Doesn't penalize QBs for dropped passes
  • Tries to parse credit between QB and receiver by breaking down Air Yards vs. YAC

Cons:

  • No adjustment for strength of schedule
  • A 'black box' -- we don't know the specifics about how it works
  • WPA-style clutch adjustments might be retrodictive, but aren't predictive
  • Splitting of credit between teammates appears to rely on subjective assessments

As soon as ESPN released the first batch of ratings from the 2008-10 seasons, I ran some correlations between existing stats and QBR:

                    r         R^2
    voa         0.9295      0.8639
    dvoa        0.9200      0.8464
    anypa_idx   0.8988      0.8079
    anypa       0.8960      0.8029
    rate_idx    0.8766      0.7684
    rate        0.8745      0.7647
    uAYA*       0.8647      0.7478
    aypa_idx    0.8478      0.7188
    nypa_idx    0.8445      0.7132
    aypa        0.8411      0.7075
    cmppct      0.7690      0.5913
    cmp_idx     0.7680      0.5898
    ypa_idx     0.7384      0.5453
    ypa         0.7340      0.5388
    tdpct_idx   0.7173      0.5146
    ypg         0.7146      0.5107
    tdpct       0.7027      0.4937
    intpct_idx  0.6013      0.3616
    intpct     -0.5989      0.3586
    skrate     -0.5546      0.3076
    skrate_idx  0.5516      0.3042
    (* = 2010 data only)

Basically, 86% of the variation in QBR is explained by Football Outsiders' VOA metric, and 81% is explained by our Adjusted Net YPA stat. Oddly enough, even though QBR factors in rushing plays, Ultimate Adjusted YPA correlates worse with QBR than Adjusted Net YPA -- in essence, uAYA tracks more closely with QBR if you remove its rushing components.

You can also explain 85% of the variation in QBR using the following formula composed of nothing but our Advanced Passing Indices:

QBR ~ -60.5 + 1.2 * Cmp%_Idx - 2.1 * YPA_Idx + 0.5 * TD%_Idx - 3.5 * Rate_Idx + 4 * AY/A_Idx + 0.9 * NY/A_Idx

This produces the following list of the best estimated post-merger "QBR" seasons (min 225 att):

Rk Player Year Age Tm G Cmp Att Yds TD Int Sk SkYds Cmp%+ Y/A+ TD%+ Rate+ AY/A+ NY/A+ predQBR
1 Dan Marino 1984 23 MIA 16 362 564 5084 48 17 13 120 127 140 148 141 141 153 95.8
2 Peyton Manning 2004 28 IND 16 336 497 4557 49 10 13 101 127 141 168 151 149 147 95.8
3 Kurt Warner 2000 29 STL 11 235 347 3429 21 18 20 115 138 158 125 128 136 158 90.0
4 Joe Montana 1984 28 SFO 16 279 432 3630 28 10 22 138 128 127 125 134 133 135 87.6
5 Dan Fouts 1982 31 SDG 9 204 330 2883 17 11 12 94 119 133 111 124 130 143 87.1
6 John Brodie 1970 35 SFO 14 223 378 2941 24 10 8 67 123 118 119 129 126 133 84.6
7 Steve Young 1991 30 SFO 11 180 279 2517 17 8 13 79 127 145 126 135 140 145 83.4
8 Mark Rypien 1991 29 WAS 16 249 421 3564 28 11 7 59 108 133 132 130 135 142 82.8
9 R. Cunningham 1998 35 MIN 15 259 425 3704 34 10 20 132 117 135 141 134 136 140 82.6
10 Ken Stabler 1976 31 OAK 12 194 291 2737 27 17 19 203 142 145 148 140 137 143 82.2
11 Steve Young 1992 31 SFO 16 268 402 3465 25 7 29 152 129 134 130 142 142 132 82.2
12 Steve Young 1994 33 SFO 16 324 461 3969 35 10 31 163 138 139 147 147 143 136 82.1
13 C. Pennington 2002 26 NYJ 15 275 399 3120 22 6 22 135 135 125 123 138 134 127 81.9
14 Joe Montana 1989 33 SFO 13 271 386 3521 26 8 33 198 152 145 132 149 145 138 81.8
15 Tom Brady 2007 30 NWE 16 398 578 4806 50 8 21 128 129 130 153 148 142 132 81.7
16 Erik Kramer 1995 31 CHI 16 315 522 3838 29 10 15 95 108 115 121 122 124 124 81.5
17 Brian Griese 2000 25 DEN 10 216 336 2688 19 4 17 139 125 123 121 135 134 125 81.3
18 Drew Brees 2009 30 NOR 15 363 514 4388 34 11 20 135 133 129 131 132 129 132 81.0
19 Dan Fouts 1983 32 SDG 10 215 340 2975 20 15 14 107 121 132 118 121 124 142 81.0
20 Dan Marino 1983 22 MIA 11 173 296 2210 20 6 10 80 106 107 127 125 123 120 80.6
Rk Player Year Age Tm G Cmp Att Yds TD Int Sk SkYds Cmp%+ Y/A+ TD%+ Rate+ AY/A+ NY/A+ predQBR
21 Bert Jones 1976 25 BAL 14 207 343 3104 24 9 29 284 124 139 127 139 143 134 80.4
22 Dan Fouts 1981 30 SDG 16 360 609 4802 33 17 19 134 111 118 115 125 126 131 79.9
23 Kurt Warner 1999 28 STL 16 325 499 4353 41 13 29 201 130 132 143 136 133 132 79.5
24 Brett Favre 1995 26 GNB 16 359 570 4413 38 13 33 217 117 125 135 130 131 124 79.3
25 Dan Marino 1986 25 MIA 16 378 623 4746 44 23 17 119 121 114 132 124 118 129 79.2
26 Jeff Garcia 2000 30 SFO 16 355 561 4278 31 10 24 155 121 116 119 127 125 122 79.0
27 V. Testaverde 1998 35 NYJ 14 259 421 3256 29 7 19 140 120 117 129 129 126 123 79.0
28 Bernie Kosar 1987 24 CLE 12 241 389 3033 22 9 22 129 123 117 116 127 125 123 78.8
29 Troy Aikman 1995 29 DAL 16 280 432 3304 16 7 14 89 123 122 97 122 124 130 78.4
30 Peyton Manning 2006 30 IND 16 362 557 4397 31 9 14 86 116 121 118 126 127 127 78.1
31 Joe Theismann 1983 34 WAS 16 276 459 3714 29 11 34 242 111 119 123 126 128 122 78.1
32 Norm Snead 1972 33 NYG 14 196 325 2307 17 12 8 66 126 107 109 121 115 120 77.7
33 Peyton Manning 2000 24 IND 16 357 571 4413 33 15 20 131 118 118 122 123 122 125 77.6
34 Peyton Manning 2005 29 IND 16 305 453 3747 28 10 17 81 125 124 124 129 127 129 77.6
35 Kurt Warner 2001 30 STL 16 375 546 4830 36 22 38 233 133 140 136 132 132 137 77.5
36 Steve DeBerg 1990 36 KAN 16 258 444 3444 23 4 22 191 106 117 114 128 132 119 77.5
37 Ken Anderson 1981 32 CIN 16 300 479 3754 29 10 25 140 123 117 123 137 132 125 77.4
38 Scott Mitchell 1995 27 DET 16 346 583 4338 32 12 31 145 105 117 120 120 124 121 77.3
39 Trent Green 2002 32 KAN 16 287 470 3690 26 13 26 141 107 126 123 120 126 128 77.3
40 Peyton Manning 2009 33 IND 16 393 571 4500 33 16 10 74 127 117 120 120 116 126 77.1

Finally, here are the predicted 2010 QBR leaders alongside the actual QBR leaders (min 225 att):

Player Year Age Tm G Att predQBR Rk Action Plays Actual QBR Rk
Tom Brady 2010 33 NWE 16 492 75.7 1 607 76.0 1
Aaron Rodgers 2010 27 GNB 15 475 71.5 2 627 67.9 4
Philip Rivers 2010 29 SDG 16 541 68.2 3 667 63.2 9
Peyton Manning 2010 34 IND 16 679 66.3 4 779 69.5 2
Josh Freeman 2010 22 TAM 16 474 64.0 5 626 63.5 8
Drew Brees 2010 31 NOR 16 658 62.3 6 760 65.9 6
Michael Vick 2010 30 PHI 12 372 61.9 7 547 66.6 5
Matt Schaub 2010 29 HOU 16 574 61.8 8 678 57.8 12
Ben Roethlisberger 2010 28 PIT 12 389 59.9 9 500 59.8 10
Matt Ryan 2010 25 ATL 16 571 59.8 10 709 68.6 3
Eli Manning 2010 29 NYG 16 539 58.1 11 654 64.3 7
Jon Kitna 2010 38 DAL 10 318 57.7 12 409 46.1 20
Matt Cassel 2010 28 KAN 15 450 57.6 13 566 51.2 15
Joe Flacco 2010 25 BAL 16 489 56.0 14 647 58.1 11
Shaun Hill 2010 30 DET 11 416 55.0 15 499 44.8 21
Kyle Orton 2010 28 DEN 13 498 53.5 16 612 46.6 19
Carson Palmer 2010 31 CIN 16 586 51.1 17 720 46.7 18
Ryan Fitzpatrick 2010 28 BUF 13 441 50.4 18 551 48.7 16
David Garrard 2010 32 JAX 14 366 50.3 19 510 57.3 13
Kerry Collins 2010 38 TEN 9 278 49.6 20 342 56.0 14
Alex Smith 2010 26 SFO 11 342 47.7 21 426 40.0 28
Mark Sanchez 2010 24 NYJ 16 507 45.2 22 619 47.4 17
Jason Campbell 2010 29 OAK 13 329 44.9 23 479 43.8 22
Matt Hasselbeck 2010 35 SEA 14 444 44.8 24 547 42.4 24
Chad Henne 2010 25 MIA 15 490 44.7 25 604 41.4 25
Sam Bradford 2010 23 STL 16 590 43.9 26 732 41.0 26
Jay Cutler 2010 27 CHI 15 432 41.9 27 596 42.6 23
Donovan McNabb 2010 34 WAS 13 472 40.9 28 596 41.0 26
Brett Favre 2010 41 MIN 13 358 39.4 29 459 25.8 30
Derek Anderson 2010 27 ARI 12 327 34.3 30 387 35.9 29
Jimmy Clausen 2010 23 CAR 13 299 19.2 31 397 11.7 31

27 Comments | Posted in History, Quarterbacks, Statgeekery

YouTube Finds: Watch Drew Bledsoe Throw a Record 70 Passes vs. Minnesota

Posted by Neil Paine on April 28, 2011

On November 13, 1994, New England's Drew Bledsoe set an NFL record with 70 pass attempts in a single game:

Passing
Rk Player Age Date Tm Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Y/A AY/A
1 Drew Bledsoe 22-272 1994-11-13 NWE MIN W 26-20 45 70 64.3% 426 3 0 95.3 6.09 6.94
2 Vinny Testaverde 37-041 2000-12-24 NYJ @ BAL L 20-34 36 69 52.2% 481 2 3 66.2 6.97 5.59
3 Jon Kitna 29-100 2001-12-30 CIN PIT W 26-23 35 68 51.5% 411 2 1 73.8 6.04 5.97
4 Brian Griese 33-187 2008-09-21 TAM @ CHI W 27-24 38 67 56.7% 407 2 3 66.0 6.07 4.66
5 Chris Miller 24-137 1989-12-24 ATL DET L 24-31 37 66 56.1% 334 2 1 73.7 5.06 4.98
6 Steve Young* 34-087 1996-01-06 SFO GNB L 17-27 32 65 49.2% 328 0 2 51.3 5.05 3.66
7 Rich Gannon 36-269 2002-09-15 OAK @ PIT W 30-17 43 64 67.2% 403 1 2 76.5 6.30 5.20
8 Bernie Kosar 23-039 1987-01-03 CLE NYJ W 23-20 33 64 51.6% 489 1 2 69.1 7.64 6.55
9 Dan Marino* 34-106 1995-12-30 MIA @ BUF L 22-37 33 64 51.6% 422 2 3 63.4 6.59 5.11
10 Rich Gannon 25-304 1991-10-20 MIN @ NWE L 23-26 35 63 55.6% 317 1 0 74.6 5.03 5.35
11 Elvis Grbac 31-041 2001-09-23 BAL @ CIN L 10-21 33 63 52.4% 326 1 3 52.7 5.17 3.35
12 Vinny Testaverde 35-023 1998-12-06 NYJ SEA W 32-31 42 63 66.7% 418 2 1 89.3 6.63 6.56
13 Chris Weinke 29-152 2001-12-30 CAR ARI L 7-30 36 63 57.1% 223 1 1 63.1 3.54 3.14
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/28/2011.

And for some reason, somebody uploaded a video of all 70 attempts at YouTube:

6 Comments | Posted in Checkdowns, History, Quarterbacks, Totally Useless, YouTube Finds

Winning vs. Stats: Matt Ryan

Posted by Chase Stuart on April 18, 2011

By the end of the 2010 regular season, Matt Ryan had become a media and fan favorite. A fellow blogger of mine at the Fifth Down argued for Ryan as MVP. When the Falcons beat the visiting Packers late in the season, Atlanta ran its home record to 19-1 with Ryan as the starter. Pro Football Focus named Ryan the most valuable player in football at the end of the season. Ryan's clutch play gave him more Win Probability Added than any other player in the league, according to Brian Burke. The Falcons ended the season with the best record in the NFC, and Ryan seemed on the verge of being anointed the game's next great quarterback.

But Ryan's Falcons were one-and-done in the playoffs, eliminated in no small part thanks to Ryan's ugly play in Atlanta's home loss to the Packers. Ryan's errant throw -- caught by Green Bay's Tramon Williams -- was one of the worst interceptions of the season. Was Ryan's season as magical as some would have you believe, or was his playoff performance more than just a bad game at the wrong time?

25 Comments | Posted in Quarterbacks

Mailbag: Super Bowl QBs With the Fewest Career Home Playoff Games

Posted by Neil Paine on February 21, 2011

PFR reader Bill asked a great question yesterday:

"I can't find evidence of this, but is Aaron Rodgers the only quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl without ever having a playoff game in his home stadium? Other wild card teams have won Super Bowls, but the quarterback will have had at least one playoff game at home during his career prior to winning a super bowl."

Question answered -- here are the fewest previous playoff home games (games where he recorded any stats at all, not just starts) by a Super Bowl-winning QB:

Quarterback Year Team Prev Hm G
Len Dawson 1969 KAN 0
Aaron Rodgers 2010 GNB 0
Joe Namath 1968 NYJ 1
Bob Griese 1972 MIA 1
Jim Plunkett 1980 OAK 1
Jeff Hostetler 1990 NYG 1
Troy Aikman 1992 DAL 1
Tom Brady 2001 NWE 1
Eli Manning 2007 NYG 1

Rodgers became the second Super Bowl winning quarterback ever to enter the game with zero career playoff home starts, and zero career games where he actually recorded any stats, following Dawson (whose only career playoff home game was also his last playoff game).

Of course, alert reader Tom Steen pointed out in the comments that Rodgers did technically play in Green Bay's 2007 home game vs. Seattle, recording no stats but taking the field at one point. So if you're a stickler, the answer is still Dawson.

7 Comments | Posted in History, Quarterbacks

Which QB is Likely to be Best in 2011?

Posted by Neil Paine on February 10, 2011

File this under Chase's "Insane Ideas/Rants/Almost deleted before hitting Publish" category...

In light of the research Chase & JKL have done about the consistency of passing stats between seasons, I was wondering which quarterbacks were likely to be best in 2011 -- assuming there is a 2011 season -- if we take their 2010 numbers and strip away the factors that were heavily influenced by luck or other elements beyond a player's control.

18 Comments | Posted in Insane ideas, Quarterbacks, Rant, Statgeekery, Totally Useless

The Greatest Drive in NFL History

Posted by Scott Kacsmar on February 9, 2011

Eighty-seven yards away from the end zone. 119 seconds on the clock. One timeout remaining. Down by six. The Super Bowl is on the line. This is the stuff football fans dream of watching, and players dream of performing on the biggest stage. This is the stuff legends are made of.

This is what the Steelers had staring them down at the end of Super Bowl XLV against the Packers. If they were successful, there would be only one way of describing it. The Steelers may not have known it when they took the field, but they were looking at the greatest drive in NFL history.

What is currently the greatest drive in NFL history? There are many great moments that stand out in NFL lore, but this is not a question that has had a definitive answer to it. I will go back now and review the candidates.

34 Comments | Posted in Best/Worst Ever, History, Quarterbacks

Quarterbacks: Career Playoff Drive Stats

Posted by Scott Kacsmar on February 3, 2011

Robert Duvall once said "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" in Apocalypse Now. I have never smelled napalm before, but there is something I enjoy. I love the smell of freshly produced spreadsheets on quarterbacks that will provide the data to expose myths and spit in the face of conventional wisdoms. I want to know why certain teams succeed and others fail, especially in the postseason. Well after my latest research efforts, I feel much more knowledgeable about certain quarterbacks and why their playoff record is what it is.

Just in time for a big quarterback match-up in Super Bowl XLV between Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers, I compiled playoff drive stats for two dozen quarterbacks that have played in the last thirty years. It was my goal to get every quarterback with at least 8 playoff starts since 1980, and I almost succeeded. Only Phil Simms, Joe Theismann, Jim Plunkett and Danny White were left out due to lack of complete career data. I also included a few active quarterbacks with 4-7 playoff starts to their credit. I used official NFL gamebooks to get this data. While many of these gamebooks offer drive summaries, I actually went through the play-by-play for each drive (over 3400 of them) to get a better understanding of how the game progressed and for more accurate statistics.

Here is a table of stats that you may be familiar with for the quarterbacks involved:

Player GP W L Att. Comp. Pct. Yards YPA TDs INTs Rating
Aaron Rodgers 4 3 1 135 94 69.63 1212 8.98 10 3 112.9
Kurt Warner 13 9 4 462 307 66.45 3952 8.55 31 14 102.8
Drew Brees 7 4 3 285 189 66.32 2052 7.20 15 2 102.0
Joe Montana 23 16 7 734 460 62.67 5772 7.86 45 21 95.6
Peyton Manning 19 9 10 718 453 63.09 5389 7.51 29 19 88.4
Troy Aikman 16 11 5 502 320 63.75 3849 7.67 23 17 88.3
Brett Favre 24 13 11 791 481 60.81 5855 7.40 44 30 86.3
Steve Young 20 12 8 471 292 62.00 3326 7.06 20 13 85.8
Tom Brady 18 14 4 637 395 62.01 4108 6.45 28 15 85.5
Ben Roethlisberger 12 10 2 329 201 61.09 2598 7.90 17 14 85.4
Warren Moon 10 3 7 403 259 64.27 2870 7.12 17 14 84.9
Jake Delhomme 8 5 3 226 130 57.52 1847 8.17 12 10 83.3
Matt Hasselbeck 10 5 5 360 211 58.61 2483 6.90 15 9 83.1
Tony Romo 4 1 3 135 80 59.26 832 6.16 4 2 80.8
Donovan McNabb 16 9 7 577 341 59.10 3752 6.50 24 17 80.0
John Elway 22 14 8 651 355 54.53 4964 7.63 27 21 79.7
Philip Rivers 7 3 4 229 134 58.52 1820 7.95 8 9 79.2
Eli Manning 7 4 3 193 113 58.55 1297 6.72 8 7 77.6
Dan Marino 18 8 10 687 385 56.04 4510 6.56 32 24 77.1
Randall Cunningham 12 5 7 365 192 52.60 2426 6.65 12 9 74.3
Dave Krieg 12 5 7 282 144 51.06 1895 6.72 11 9 72.3
Jim Kelly 17 9 8 545 322 59.08 3863 7.09 21 28 72.3
Steve McNair 10 5 5 311 184 59.16 1764 5.67 6 11 66.7
Mark Brunell 11 5 6 307 156 50.81 1833 5.97 11 11 66.3

Those are your conventional passing stats. Drive stats are something I have taken much interest in the last few years. I guess it started with my work on fourth quarter drives, and has since carried over to the full game. They offer more measures of efficiency and give better insight into how productive a team's offense or defense is and what style or tempo they may play at. Think about basketball and how the stats for a run and gun/fast break offense are going to be different than the numbers of a half-court offense.

The number of possessions a team gets in a game or season is one of the most overlooked parts of football. Every offense and defense is held to the same standard of points and yards scored/allowed, but did the defense that allows 20 points on 8 drives really play better than the defense that allowed 24 points on 13 drives? Some teams get the ball less than others year after year, meaning their offense has to play at a higher level on fewer opportunities. This would make the offense's stats look better, and the defense's look worse since they are not on the field as much as other teams. The Colts have often been a team in recent seasons that are at the bottom or close to it in offensive possessions every season. Jon Gruden, on a Monday Night Football telecast in Miami in 2009, is probably the only analyst I have heard reference this fact in the media.

If you are not familiar with drive stats, I would highly recommend a visit to that section on the FootballOutsiders site, where Jim Armstrong does a great job of putting out the drive stats on a weekly basis each season. They are listed for 1997-2010. You can familiarize yourself with the kind of numbers you can expect from an offense that is ranked at the top of the league, the average, and at the bottom, to use as a reference when you look over these playoff drive stats.

Disclaimer: the stats presented here are in the quarterback's name, but even more than usual this is really about the team's offensive performance as a whole rather than the individual quarterback. There are certain parts, like the breakdown on interceptions, that are mostly all about the quarterback, but overall drive stats are something you have to keep the team in mind first for. There are of course drives where a quarterback does nothing but hand the ball off every play. The entry "Joe Montana" is another way of saying "1981-90 49ers, 1993-94 Chiefs". Also I will note that I tried to include every drive a QB played in during the playoffs, whether or not they started the game did not matter. I will point out several things, but I will also leave the reader to make their own observations on all the various data presented below. Kneel down drives at the end of either half are excluded.

With that cleared up, on to the data.

25 Comments | Posted in Best/Worst Ever, History, Quarterbacks, Statgeekery

Quarterback post-season records and Simpson’s Paradox

Posted by Chase Stuart on January 31, 2011

I almost deleted this post before I hit "Publish." There are so many caveats I'm urged to proclaim, and so many nits at which any reader could pick, that I'm still not sure if this is worth posting. Further, on some level, I fundamentally disagree with the not-so-subtle argument this post implicitly endorses. Allow me to cut you off, by noting that yes, this post is stupid, yes I forgot about X, Y and Z, yes, this doesn't even make sense once you realize M, N and Q, yes I've never watched a football game before, and yes I'm biased against Player A and Player B. And, of course, I am Player C's mother. Note that I've categorized this post under both Rant and Insane ideas.

The comments to Neil's post on The Rivers Index raised some interesting questions. Commenter Sean played the role of Marino backer and noted how Miami was always being outrushed in those playoff losses. He pointed out, correctly, that Dan Marino is the only victor of the 52 quarterbacks to start a playoff game in the last 60 years when his team was outrushed by 150+ yards .

I started wondering how to break down each playoff game based on the level of support each quarterback received, from both the running game and the defense. Game-ending stats are deceiving -- just one of the many caveats in my head as I wrote paragraph 1 -- but I figured there was little harm in doing some back of the envelope calculations. If nothing else, this post can just add some layers to the typical discussion of post-season records. Here's what I did:

55 Comments | Posted in Insane ideas, Quarterbacks, Rant

Aaron Rodgers, career passing leader

Posted by Chase Stuart on January 30, 2011

Mike Tanier, a regular contributor at Football Outsiders and the New York Times' Fifth Down blog, recently penned an article for MSNBC discussing Aaron Rodgers' ridiculous quarterback rating. Believe it or not, he's number one all-time in that metric:

                                                                                        
                                        Game    Pass                                    
Rk                Player From   To  Tm     G     Cmp   Att  Cmp%   Yds  TD Int Rate  Y/A
1          Aaron  Rodgers 2005 2010 GNB    54    1038  1611 64.4% 12723  87  32 98.4 7.90
2          Philip  Rivers 2004 2010 SDG    84    1564  2455 63.7% 19661 136  58 97.2 8.01
3           Steve  Young* 1985 1999 TOT   169    2667  4149 64.3% 33124 232 107 96.8 7.98
4              Tony  Romo 2004 2010 DAL    89    1326  2070 64.1% 16650 118  62 95.5 8.04
5              Tom  Brady 2000 2010 NWE   145    2996  4710 63.6% 34744 261 103 95.2 7.38
6         Peyton  Manning 1998 2010 CLT   208    4682  7210 64.9% 54828 399 198 94.9 7.60
7            Kurt  Warner 1998 2009 TOT   125    2666  4070 65.5% 32344 208 128 93.7 7.95
8     Ben  Roethlisberger 2004 2010 PIT    99    1766  2800 63.1% 22502 144  86 92.5 8.04
9           Joe  Montana* 1979 1994 TOT   192    3409  5391 63.2% 40551 273 139 92.3 7.52
10            Drew  Brees 2001 2010 TOT   138    3145  4822 65.2% 35266 235 132 91.7 7.31
11           Matt  Schaub 2004 2010 TOT    92    1288  1987 64.8% 15457  83  52 91.5 7.78
12       Chad  Pennington 2000 2010 TOT    89    1632  2471 66.0% 17823 102  64 90.1 7.21
13      Daunte  Culpepper 1999 2009 TOT   105    2016  3199 63.0% 24153 149 106 87.8 7.55
14           Jeff  Garcia 1999 2009 TOT   125    2264  3676 61.6% 25537 161  83 87.5 6.95
15         Carson  Palmer 2004 2010 CIN    97    2024  3217 62.9% 22694 154 100 86.9 7.05

18 Comments | Posted in Quarterbacks

Which Super Bowl Starting QBs Had the Biggest Hot Streaks Going Into the Game?

Posted by Neil Paine on January 25, 2011

While the Conference Championships put a damper on any hot streaks Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger may have had going into the Super Bowl, where does their recent play stand relative to all SB signal-callers prior to the game? And does a string of successful games before the Super Bowl actually correlate with playing well on Super Sunday?

To answer these questions, let's bust out the single-game opponent- & era-adjusted QB performance metric I introduced here. To make a long explanation short, eYAR is an estimate of the QB's Yards Above Replacement against an average opponent in the modern era. We can use it to rank games, seasons, careers, etc., and we can also use it to gauge how well a QB was playing in the games leading up to a Super Bowl start.

For instance, here are the hottest QBs over the 2 games prior to the Super Bowl:

Player Year Tm Prev2G Player Year Tm Prev2G
Roger Staubach 1975 DAL 252.8 Donovan McNabb 2004 PHI 88.3
Jim Kelly 1990 BUF 247.0 Joe Namath 1968 NYJ 87.9
Peyton Manning 2009 IND 241.6 Joe Theismann 1982 WAS 86.9
Dan Marino 1984 MIA 211.1 Fran Tarkenton 1973 MIN 85.9
John Elway 1989 DEN 207.5 Vince Ferragamo 1979 RAM 85.9
Joe Montana 1988 SFO 204.6 Terry Bradshaw 1975 PIT 83.8
Joe Montana 1989 SFO 188.9 Mark Rypien 1991 WAS 82.5
Bart Starr 1966 GNB 163.8 Jeff Hostetler 1990 NYG 82.1
John Elway 1987 DEN 162.4 Eli Manning 2007 NYG 81.9
Troy Aikman 1992 DAL 161.9 Fran Tarkenton 1976 MIN 77.2
Bob Griese 1971 MIA 157.8 John Elway 1998 DEN 77.2
Earl Morrall 1968 BAL 154.5 Roger Staubach 1971 DAL 76.9
Troy Aikman 1993 DAL 151.1 Jim Plunkett 1980 OAK 72.3
Kurt Warner 2008 ARI 151.0 Len Dawson 1969 KAN 71.6
Joe Montana 1981 SFO 149.4 Joe Montana 1984 SFO 69.1
Joe Theismann 1983 WAS 148.9 Bob Griese 1973 MIA 67.4
Terry Bradshaw 1978 PIT 148.6 John Elway 1997 DEN 66.3
Aaron Rodgers 2010 GNB 148.3 Phil Simms 1986 NYG 61.1
Matt Hasselbeck 2005 SEA 146.3 Jim Plunkett 1983 RAI 59.9
Troy Aikman 1995 DAL 145.7 Tom Brady 2001 NWE 57.0
Bart Starr 1967 GNB 142.9 John Elway 1986 DEN 54.8
Billy Kilmer 1972 WAS 139.8 Peyton Manning 2006 IND 54.4
Rich Gannon 2002 OAK 136.8 Tony Eason 1985 NWE 52.8
Craig Morton 1977 DEN 136.1 Kerry Collins 2000 NYG 51.6
Terry Bradshaw 1974 PIT 133.0 Brett Favre 1997 GNB 50.5
Ken Stabler 1976 OAK 130.7 Brad Johnson 2002 TAM 49.6
Terry Bradshaw 1979 PIT 129.0 Stan Humphries 1994 SDG 45.5
Jim McMahon 1985 CHI 128.1 Daryle Lamonica 1967 OAK 41.6
Kurt Warner 1999 STL 126.4 Trent Dilfer 2000 BAL 41.5
Ben Roethlisberger 2005 PIT 123.0 Steve McNair 1999 TEN 36.4
Joe Kapp 1969 MIN 120.7 Bob Griese 1972 MIA 35.4
Chris Chandler 1998 ATL 119.7 Fran Tarkenton 1974 MIN 35.3
Len Dawson 1966 KAN 118.2 Rex Grossman 2006 CHI 33.8
Roger Staubach 1977 DAL 108.1 Roger Staubach 1978 DAL 28.3
Johnny Unitas 1970 BAL 107.7 Doug Williams 1987 WAS 11.8
Jim Kelly 1993 BUF 106.9 Ben Roethlisberger 2010 PIT 10.4
Tom Brady 2007 NWE 105.5 Tom Brady 2003 NWE 9.3
Jake Delhomme 2003 CAR 101.3 David Woodley 1982 MIA 6.5
Kurt Warner 2001 STL 100.8 Neil O'Donnell 1995 PIT 0.7
Ben Roethlisberger 2008 PIT 100.4 Jim Kelly 1992 BUF -0.8
Brett Favre 1996 GNB 98.6 Drew Bledsoe 1996 NWE -3.3
Ken Anderson 1981 CIN 98.6 Jim Kelly 1991 BUF -20.8
Drew Brees 2009 NOR 95.4 Boomer Esiason 1988 CIN -40.0
Tom Brady 2004 NWE 95.2 Craig Morton 1970 DAL -53.8
Steve Young 1994 SFO 91.4 Ron Jaworski 1980 PHI -96.4

Prior to Super Bowl X, Staubach ripped the Vikings and Rams for a combined unadjusted 33-55-466-5-1 line (plus 78 rushing yds) that is pretty impressive when seen in the light of the era and opposition. Likewise, Kelly torched Miami and L.A. for 320 YPG in the 1990 playoffs, and Manning was nearly flawless against one of the best pass defenses ever in last year's AFC Championship Game. (All three of those QBs went on to lose the Super Bowl, though.)

6 Comments | Posted in Best/Worst Ever, Quarterbacks, Statgeekery

Road playoff victories

Posted by Chase Stuart on January 22, 2011

Obviously the number of road playoff wins a quarterback has earned is as meaningless a piece of trivia as one could drum up, but that hasn't stopped people from discussing the point this week. With a win tomorrow night, Mark Sanchez will become the all-time leader in road playoff wins. Below is a list of all quarterback with two or more road playoff wins since 1950. Note that Super Bowl games are considered neutral site games, but championship games in the pre-Super Bowl era were not.

road wins	
4	Jake  Delhomme
4	Roger  Staubach
4	Len  Dawson
4	Joe  Flacco
4	Mark  Sanchez
3	Donovan  McNabb
3	Eli  Manning
3	Tom  Brady
3	Ben  Roethlisberger
3	Mark  Brunell
3	Steve  McNair
3	John  Elway
3	Brett  Favre
3	Tony  Eason
3	Vince  Ferragamo
2	Peyton  Manning
2	Trent  Dilfer
2	Randall  Cunningham
2	Jim  Harbaugh
2	Joe  Montana
2	Mark  Rypien
2	Jim  Everett
2	Richard  Todd
2	Dan  Fouts
2	Jim  Plunkett
2	Dan  Pastorini
2	Terry  Bradshaw
2	Craig  Morton
2	Earl  Morrall
2	Johnny  Unitas
2	Bart  Starr
2	Bobby  Layne
2	Aaron  Rodgers

17 Comments | Posted in Checkdowns, Quarterbacks, Trivia

The Rivers Index, Playoffs Edition (2001-2010)

Posted by Neil Paine on January 21, 2011

Back in November, I developed what I called "The Rivers Index" (so named for Philip Rivers), a metric that measured how many games a QB should have won based on nothing more than his own passing performance. Today, I'm going to apply that same concept to the last 10 years of playoff competition, this time using 10 years of data and adjusting for opposing defenses + weather.

124 Comments | Posted in Quarterbacks, Simple Rating System, Statgeekery

Which Quarterbacks’ Offenses Exceed Expectations in the Playoffs?

Posted by Neil Paine on January 10, 2011

Curious after Peyton Manning & the Colts scored 16 points at home against the Jets on Saturday, I wanted to calculate how many points we should have expected them to put on the board, knowing the opponent and game location.

According to the Simple Rating System (SRS), the Jets' defense was +4.2 this season -- meaning they allowed 4.2 fewer PPG than an average team after accounting for strength of schedule. The average NFL team scored 22.0 PPG during the regular-season, so at a neutral site we'd expect an average team to score 17.8 PPG against the New York defense. And since the Colts were at home, 0.95 PPG (half the overall home-field advantage in 2010) should be added in as well, giving a final expectation of 18.8 PPG for a league-average team against the Jets at home. Since the Colts actually scored 16, we can score this performance as -2.8 points relative to average.

Additionally, we wouldn't have expected the Colts' offense to be average based on the regular season. Their offensive SRS was +3.7, which means Indianapolis "should have" scored 22.0 + 0.95 + 3.7 - 4.2 = 22.5 pts against the Jets at home. This yields a score of -6.5 pts relative to regular-season expectations.

Here's Peyton Manning's entire playoff career according to this methodology:

20 Comments | Posted in Best/Worst Ever, History, Quarterbacks, Simple Rating System, Statgeekery

Most interceptions by Quarterback-Defender pairing

Posted by Chase Stuart on December 31, 2010

Which player has intercepted which quarterback the most? Who has picked off Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Dan Marino or Joe Montana more than anyone else? Against which quarterbacks did Rod Woodson, Deion Sanders and Mel Blount pad their numbers? Those answers and more, below.

I used the same methodology I used in the most pick-sixes in NFL history post to determine which quarterback threw which interception to each defender. For the purposes of this study, I included all interceptions in any post-season game in league history and interceptions in any regular season games since 1960. For each interception thrown in any of those games, the defensive player was given X/Y interceptions against the quarterback, where X represents the number of interceptions thrown by that quarterback in that game and Y stands for the number of team interceptions thrown by the quarterback's team in that game. As a result, this post is more of an approximation than an exact science.

The leader in quarterback-defensive player pairing interceptions? Over a six-year period, Broncos cornerback Steve Foley terrorized Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts. Foley had two interceptions in a 17-0 shutout against the Chargers in November 1976; Fouts threw two picks while Clint Longley had three more, which means Fouts is blamed for 40% of the two interceptions Foley had that day, or 0.8 INTs. In December '77, with the Orange Crush at full bore, Foley picked off Fouts in a 17-9 Broncos victory. Their next matchup came in September 1978, and Foley intercepted Fouts again in a Denver win. On Monday Night Football in the 1979 season finale, Foley caught two passes from Fouts, only one fewer than Charlie Joiner. Fouts and Air Corywell was running at top speed in 1980, but Foley picked him off in both matchups, first in Denver and then in a road victory in San Diego. Their next meeting came in September '81, and Foley intercepted three Fouts passes. Maybe after that, Fouts learned not to throw the ball in Foley's direction. All told, including the "0.8 interceptions' in that '76 game, and Foley recorded 9.8 interceptions against the Hall of Fame quarterback.

12 Comments | Posted in Quarterbacks, Statgeekery

Team ANY/A through 12 weeks — and Matt Cassel

Posted by Chase Stuart on November 30, 2010

The San Diego Chargers are on a four game winning streak, lead the league in yards gained, yards allowed, net yards per pass and net yards per pass allowed. So don't feel bad if you haven't done a good job of following the Kansas City passing game the past three weeks -- I hadn't either.

Then I noticed that Dwayne Bowe had 14 touchdowns, the third most through 11 games in the last 50 years. And Matt Cassel -- who ranked 25th in ANY/A last season -- ranks 5th in that metric in 2010. He's thrown 22 touchdowns and against just 4 interceptions. Here's a list of all players in the past 50 years with 20+ touchdowns and no more than 5 interceptions through 11 team games:

                                                                                          
                                               Pass                                       
Rk           Player Age Year  Lg  Tm  G  W L T  Cmp Att  Cmp%  Yds TD Int  Rate  Y/A  AY/A
1         Tom Brady  33 2010 NFL NWE 11  9 2 0  236 356 66.3% 2703 23   4 105.8 7.59  8.38
2       Matt Cassel  28 2010 NFL KAN 11  7 4 0  195 323 60.4% 2307 22   4  99.7 7.14  7.95
3       Brett Favre  40 2009 NFL MIN 11 10 1 0  248 358 69.3% 2874 24   3 112.1 8.03  8.99
4     Aaron Rodgers  25 2009 NFL GNB 11  7 4 0  249 380 65.5% 3136 22   5 104.9 8.25  8.82
5         Tom Brady  30 2007 NFL NWE 11 11 0 0  284 392 72.4% 3439 39   4 127.9 8.77 10.30
6        Drew Brees  25 2004 NFL SDG 11  8 3 0  206 313 65.8% 2458 21   3 108.0 7.85  8.76
7    Donovan McNabb  27 2004 NFL PHI 11 10 1 0  224 350 64.0% 2892 23   5 105.8 8.26  8.93
8       Rich Gannon  35 2001 NFL RAI 11  8 3 0  236 360 65.6% 2626 21   4 101.9 7.29  7.96
9     Roman Gabriel  29 1969 NFL RAM 11 11 0 0  176 325 54.2% 2212 22   3  94.3 6.81  7.74

Um, yeah. Last year, Jason wrote an article about how Cassel was so conservative that he'd be better off throwing more incomplete passes and interceptions. This year? Well, according to the raw numbers, he looks like a viable MVP candidate. Which, of course, shocked me as a sign that something was up.

11 Comments | Posted in Quarterbacks, Simple Rating System

PI Finds: The Rivers Index

Posted by Neil Paine on November 11, 2010

Last week, I showed you how to set up an "expected W-L" method for a quarterback using the Play Index Team Game Finder, the QB's gamelogs, and a logistic regression formula. I found that our test case, Philip Rivers, should have been expected to win 27.7 games over the last 3 seasons (prior to the Chargers' win over Houston) based on his passing performance, but in actuality only won 24 games, a difference of -3.7 wins. Without context, though, that number doesn't really mean anything -- is that a lot, or a little? Today, I'm going to answer that question by comparing every QB's actual and expected W-L records, something I like to call "The Rivers Index" (in an homage to Doug's Manning and Dungy Indices).

27 Comments | Posted in PI Finds, Play Index, Quarterbacks, Statgeekery

PI Finds: Should Philip Rivers Have Won More Games?

Posted by Neil Paine on November 5, 2010

Using the PFR Play Index's Player Season Finder, you can run custom individual leaderboards across multiple seasons. For instance, here are the NFL leaders in Adjusted Yards per Attempt over the past three years:

Rk Player From To Tm G Cmp Att Yds TD Int AY/A
1 Philip Rivers 2008 2010 SDG 40 827 1270 10912 77 27 8.85
2 Drew Brees 2008 2010 NOR 39 1010 1480 11791 84 39 7.92
3 Aaron Rodgers 2008 2010 GNB 40 856 1346 10483 70 29 7.86
4 Tony Romo 2008 2010 DAL 35 771 1213 9536 63 30 7.79
5 Matt Schaub 2008 2010 HTX 34 796 1198 9552 54 31 7.71
6 Tom Brady 2008 2010 NWE 24 525 801 6076 40 17 7.63
7 Peyton Manning 2008 2010 CLT 39 961 1425 10686 75 30 7.60
8 Ben Roethlisberger 2008 2010 PIT 34 670 1057 8383 48 29 7.60
9 Kurt Warner 2008 2009 CRD 31 740 1111 8336 56 28 7.38
10 Donovan McNabb 2008 2010 TOT 38 771 1291 9440 52 29 7.11

As you can see, the leader (by far) is San Diego's Philip Rivers. In fact, 10th-ranked McNabb is closer to #2 Brees than Brees is to Rivers!

Statistically, it's tough to find a QB since 2008 who can touch Rivers. However, his team hasn't enjoyed the same lofty success: the Chargers are 24-16 over the past 3 years -- a respectable record, but one seemingly out of place next to Rivers' gaudy passing numbers. This disconnect between individual accomplishments and team performance has haunted many a quarterback in the past, and is now is the main reason Rivers isn't held up in the same group as Brady, Manning, Roethlisberger, and Brees as a quarterback. QBs are supposed to win, we're told, not amass seemingly empty stats.

26 Comments | Posted in PI Finds, Play Index, Quarterbacks, Statgeekery

How many Super Bowl winning quarterbacks are there?

Posted by Chase Stuart on October 28, 2010

On Monday Night Football this week, one of the announcers noted that there are six Super Bowl quarterbacks currently playing in the league. Is that a lot or a little?

A couple of years ago, I noted all the quarterbacks to ever win a Super Bowl in this post. No surprises there, although I split up Super Bowl V between Unitas and Morrall, assigning them each half a win. [Note: Teams win games, not quarterbacks. This goes double for Super Bowls. Disclaimer out of the way.] Once you add in Brees' championship from last season, it's easy enough to see how many quarterbacks in any given season have won the Super Bowl. As it turns out, 2007 and 2008 represents the high-water mark for active bling in the NFL:

Year # QBs Quarterbacks
2010 6 Drew Brees; Eli Manning; Peyton Manning; Ben Roethlisberger; Tom Brady; Brett Favre
2009 6 Eli Manning; Peyton Manning; Ben Roethlisberger; Tom Brady; Kurt Warner; Brett Favre
2008 7 Eli Manning; Peyton Manning; Ben Roethlisberger; Brad Johnson; Tom Brady; Kurt Warner; Brett Favre
2007 7 Peyton Manning; Ben Roethlisberger; Brad Johnson; Tom Brady; Trent Dilfer; Kurt Warner; Brett Favre
2006 5 Ben Roethlisberger; Brad Johnson; Tom Brady; Kurt Warner; Brett Favre
2005 5 Brad Johnson; Tom Brady; Trent Dilfer; Kurt Warner; Brett Favre
2004 5 Brad Johnson; Tom Brady; Trent Dilfer; Kurt Warner; Brett Favre
2003 5 Brad Johnson; Tom Brady; Trent Dilfer; Kurt Warner; Brett Favre
2002 4 Tom Brady; Trent Dilfer; Kurt Warner; Brett Favre
2001 4 Trent Dilfer; Kurt Warner; Brett Favre; Mark Rypien
2000 3 Kurt Warner; Brett Favre; Troy Aikman
1999 3 Brett Favre; Steve Young; Troy Aikman
1998 4 John Elway; Brett Favre; Steve Young; Troy Aikman
1997 5 Brett Favre; Steve Young; Troy Aikman; Mark Rypien; Jeff Hostetler
1996 5 Steve Young; Troy Aikman; Mark Rypien; Jeff Hostetler; Jim McMahon
1995 5 Steve Young; Troy Aikman; Mark Rypien; Jeff Hostetler; Jim McMahon
1994 5 Troy Aikman; Mark Rypien; Jeff Hostetler; Jim McMahon; Joe Montana
1993 6 Troy Aikman; Mark Rypien; Jeff Hostetler; Phil Simms; Jim McMahon; Joe Montana
1992 5 Mark Rypien; Jeff Hostetler; Phil Simms; Jim McMahon; Joe Montana
1991 3 Jeff Hostetler; Phil Simms; Jim McMahon
1990 3 Phil Simms; Jim McMahon; Joe Montana
1989 4 Doug Williams; Phil Simms; Jim McMahon; Joe Montana
1988 4 Doug Williams; Phil Simms; Jim McMahon; Joe Montana
1987 3 Phil Simms; Jim McMahon; Joe Montana
1986 3 Jim McMahon; Joe Montana; Jim Plunkett
1985 3 Joe Theismann; Joe Montana; Jim Plunkett
1984 4 Joe Theismann; Joe Montana; Jim Plunkett; Ken Stabler
1983 5 Joe Theismann; Joe Montana; Jim Plunkett; Ken Stabler; Terry Bradshaw
1982 4 Joe Montana; Jim Plunkett; Ken Stabler; Terry Bradshaw
1981 3 Jim Plunkett; Ken Stabler; Terry Bradshaw
1980 3 Ken Stabler; Terry Bradshaw; Bob Griese
1979 4 Ken Stabler; Terry Bradshaw; Bob Griese; Roger Staubach
1978 4 Ken Stabler; Terry Bradshaw; Bob Griese; Roger Staubach
1977 5 Ken Stabler; Terry Bradshaw; Bob Griese; Roger Staubach; Joe Namath
1976 4.5 Terry Bradshaw; Bob Griese; Roger Staubach; Earl Morrall; Joe Namath
1975 5.5 Terry Bradshaw; Bob Griese; Roger Staubach; Earl Morrall; Len Dawson; Joe Namath
1974 4.5 Bob Griese; Roger Staubach; Earl Morrall; Len Dawson; Joe Namath
1973 5 Bob Griese; Roger Staubach; Johnny Unitas; Earl Morrall; Len Dawson; Joe Namath
1972 4 Roger Staubach; Johnny Unitas; Earl Morrall; Len Dawson; Joe Namath
1971 4 Johnny Unitas; Earl Morrall; Len Dawson; Joe Namath; Bart Starr
1970 3 Len Dawson; Joe Namath; Bart Starr
1969 2 Joe Namath; Bart Starr
1968 1 Bart Starr
1967 1 Bart Starr
1966 0

The least impressive year was probably 1981. After Griese retired, you had just three QBs that had won a Super Bowl playing that year: a 32-year-old Terry Bradshaw, one year away from retirement; a 36-year-old Ken Stabler playing for the Oilers; and Jim Plunkett, and career underachieving Jim Plunkett, owner of a 43-55 record at that time. Although 1991 is pretty close: only three active quarterbacks with rings, and two played for the same team.

25 Comments | Posted in Quarterbacks

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