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Through six weeks: rearview adjusted yards per attempt

Posted by Chase Stuart on October 18, 2007

Two months ago, I blogged on one of my favorite statistics: rearview adjusted yards per attempt. Adjusted yards per attempt is a statistic most of us are familiar with by now -- its calculated by simply adding 10 "yards" for every touchdown pass, and subtracting 45 "yards" for every interception. Then you divide passing "yards" by pass attempts, so it's basically a more precise version of yards per attempt. Quarterbacks that throw for a lot of yards per attempt with a good number of interceptions get rightly penalized (think Ben Roethlisberger last year), while quarterbacks that don't throw any interceptions get a nice boost even if they have a low yards per attempt ratio (think David Garrard this season).

So what does "rearview" add to the equation? It adjusts the performance for strength of schedule. This is particularly important to do when we're looking at mid-season numbers, which are more heavily susceptible to radically different strength of schedule numbers. When you combine the rearview adjustment with the change by adjusting the yards per attempt, you've got rearview adjusted yards per attempt.

So who are the leaders in that category this year?

For starters, all NFL QBs averaging 5.97 adjusted yards per attempt, so that should be considered our baseline for good performance. I've subtracted that number from every QB's results, so you can get a better sense of who is doing better and worse than average. Here are the results for all QBs with a minimum of 40 pass attempts this season:


Player RAY/A AY/A SOS
Tom Brady 3.13 3.30 -0.16
David Garrard 3.10 2.33 0.77
Jeff Garcia 2.63 2.63 0.01
Peyton Manning 2.23 2.08 0.15
Kurt Warner 2.15 2.42 -0.27
Jon Kitna 1.97 0.83 1.14
Derek Anderson 1.67 0.96 0.71
Tony Romo 1.63 1.29 0.34
Jake Delhomme 1.59 1.61 -0.03
Donovan McNabb 1.58 0.99 0.58
Matt Schaub 1.30 1.39 -0.09
Jay Cutler 0.84 0.13 0.71
Brett Favre 0.80 0.24 0.56
Philip Rivers 0.79 0.02 0.77
Jason Campbell 0.57 0.40 0.16
Ben Roethlisberger 0.54 1.42 -0.88
Kelly Holcomb 0.52 -0.18 0.70
Eli Manning 0.43 -0.21 0.64
Joey Harrington 0.31 -0.13 0.44
Trent Green 0.18 -0.85 1.03
Chad Pennington 0.12 -0.73 0.85
Carson Palmer -0.10 0.19 -0.29
Matt Hasselbeck -0.24 0.97 -1.22
Damon Huard -0.39 -0.09 -0.30
Daunte Culpepper -0.78 -0.21 -0.57
Trent Edwards -0.89 -1.14 0.25
Brian Griese -0.89 -0.39 -0.50
J.P. Losman -0.95 -1.50 0.56
Alex Smith -1.33 -0.90 -0.43
Drew Brees -1.74 -2.22 0.48
Steve McNair -1.80 -0.55 -1.26
Marc Bulger -1.88 -1.42 -0.46
Kyle Boller -1.96 -1.02 -0.94
Kellen Clemens -2.06 -1.40 -0.66
Josh McCown -2.33 -1.43 -0.90
Cleo Lemon -2.37 -1.80 -0.57
Vince Young -2.53 -1.91 -0.62
David Carr -2.65 -1.78 -0.87
Matt Leinart -2.73 -1.62 -1.11
Rex Grossman -2.74 -3.28 0.53
Tarvaris Jackson -3.55 -2.68 -0.87
Trent Dilfer -4.92 -3.49 -1.43
Gus Frerotte -5.45 -3.98 -1.47

What's that mean exactly? Let's take Mr. Brady as an example. He's thrown for 1771 yards, 21 TDs and 2 INTs, a total of 1891 adjusted yards. He's thrown 204 passes, giving him an average of 9.27 AY/A. Since the league average QB is at 5.97 adjusted yards per attempt, Brady's 3.30 adjusted yards per attempt better, represented in the middle column. Tom has had a slightly easier than average schedule, though, as shown by the -0.16 number in the right column. Therefore, his rearview adjusted yards per attempt is 3.13 AY/A better than the league average.

Notes

  • Wow is David Garrard having an incredible season. On top of his zero interceptions, he's doing it against a pretty difficult schedule. In fact, he's only a hair behind Brady despite having significantly inferior wide receivers.
  • We haven't heard a lot about it, but Carson Palmer is having a very down year. Sure he lit up the Browns, but he's thrown two interceptions in each of the past four games, all Bengals losses.
  • Jon Kitna, Trent Green and Chad Pennington have faced the three toughest schedules in the league. Gus Frerotte, Trent Dilfer, Steve McNair, Matt Hasselbeck and Matt Leinart have faced the five easiest.
  • Brian Griese has played a lot better than Grossman, but he has faced a much easier schedule. As bad as Steve McNair has looked, Kyle Boller hasn't been any better Warner was way better than Leinart this year, despite facing a tougher (but still easier than average) schedule.

Below are the rankings for the defenses, using rearview adjusted yards per attempt allowed:


Team RAY/A AY/A SOS
Washington Redskins 3.00 2.02 0.98
Tennessee Titans 2.42 1.45 0.97
Oakland Raiders 2.07 0.87 1.20
New England Patriots 1.82 1.28 0.54
Buffalo Bills 1.19 0.00 1.20
Philadelphia Eagles 1.19 0.25 0.94
Indianapolis Colts 1.17 1.35 -0.19
Kansas City Chiefs 1.01 0.70 0.32
Pittsburgh Steelers 0.88 1.20 -0.32
New York Giants 0.71 -0.05 0.76
Dallas Cowboys 0.60 0.73 -0.14
Green Bay Packers 0.47 0.05 0.42
Houston Texans 0.43 -0.43 0.86
Denver Broncos 0.11 -0.67 0.78
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0.03 1.19 -1.15
Carolina Panthers -0.08 0.37 -0.44
Cincinnati Bengals -0.21 -0.54 0.34
Minnesota Vikings -0.21 -0.25 0.04
San Diego Chargers -0.27 -0.57 0.30
St. Louis Rams -0.40 -0.98 0.58
Atlanta Falcons -0.50 -0.50 -0.01
Chicago Bears -0.73 -1.05 0.32
Miami Dolphins -0.76 -1.73 0.97
Jacksonville Jaguars -0.95 -0.63 -0.32
Cleveland Browns -1.20 -0.73 -0.47
Detroit Lions -1.22 -0.09 -1.13
New York Jets -1.26 -1.61 0.36
Baltimore Ravens -1.33 0.60 -1.93
Seattle Seahawks -1.48 -0.22 -1.27
San Francisco 49ers -1.77 -0.37 -1.40
Arizona Cardinals -1.88 0.05 -1.93
New Orleans Saints -3.15 -3.03 -0.12

Washington actually leads the league in adjusted yards per attempt allowed, with 2.02 fewer yards per pass against them than the league average. But they're doing it while facing the third toughest slate of passers in the league! As a result, we can conclude that Washington's pass D has been simply outstanding this year. And the Titans aren't too far behind, facing a similarly tough schedule.

Notes

  • Look how far down the Ravens defense is. They've faced some terrible passers, which has really inflated their numbers. And the Saints pass defense has just been pathetic so far this year.
  • Five toughest schedules? Oakland, Buffalo, Washington, Tennessee and Miami. And the Redskins and Dolphins still have more games left with Brady and Romo. Five easiest? Arizona and Baltimore in a landslide, followed by San Fran, Seattle and Tampa Bay.

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 18th, 2007 at 5:59 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.