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Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare
I do find it really tough to put Luckman or Baugh over Unitas for the reasons you stated.

Staubach-Unitas is definitely interesting. When those two first pop into your mind it’s probably easy to immediately think Unitas. But Staubach has an argument. He has less longevity than Unitas (but I find it really hard to hold that against him considering it was military service.)

Unitas has him beat soundly in awards, counting stats, and black ink. But when you look deeper into the numbers you see Staubach was way more efficient. Very intriguing conversation.

@Deus Irae ... thoughts?
 

Bleedthrough

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Good points.

I think if it were only about data, it would just begin in 1949 and have more of a flat-tax concept.

The confidence problem, I think, is about data and other things too.

-Beyond quanitfying the QB starts themselves, s the QB actually "the starter" and responsible for the offense in the same way as today? Guys are playing multiple positions on offense and defense for much of the time. Which is great, and it adds value, and they should get credit; but in terms of comparing performance, I think we need to regress it towards the mean a bit.

-Beyond whether or not it's the correct passer rating, does passer rating really mean the same thing now as it did then? I know it's always an imperfect stat, but Sid Luckman hitting 107.5 for an absurd, over-the-top peak score? I think we see some extreme cases and even moreso when we adjust it to the league-average passer rating suffering from the same problems.

-Are these QBs playing against all the best players for competition? Or are there rival leagues? This is where I think Graham needs to be adjusted, as we have siphoning off talent up until 1967; the AAFC is a great example...Graham and Luckman/Baugh would have had some great games and further watered down each other's accomplishments; the Rams and Browns both crossed over and won. So, how much confidence do we have that the NFL s truly the supreme talent monopoly that it's been since 67?
Your first point is my biggest issue. We have no clue how many snaps they actually took at quarterback in these games. At the same time you don’t want to completely discredit them so the whole Confidence index idea is great in my opinion.

Passer rating is tough. You have Luckman with a 107.5 rating in 1943 and Baugh with a 109.9 rating in 1945. The first time I saw those I immediately thought “if anyone ever adjusts these stats to account for era, no one is coming close to beating them probably.” It reminded me of Babe Ruth’s homers compared to whole teams.

The whole other league thing is something I’ve never been able to pinpoint or adjust properly. It’s really difficult as to how much you want to dock a player who played and had success in leagues other than the NFL.
 

Deus Irae

PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club
PatsFans.com Supporter
This is another example of why it's so difficult to slot in such a way that everyone is happy: The rest of the team as a variable. These two serve as a nice example of that, particularly if you bookend their careers.

Staubach took over the starting role on a team that was much better than what Unitas walked into. His first year as his team's absolute starter was a year following a Super Bowl appearance (one which, appropriately for this conversation, Unitas and the Colts won). Unitas took over on a sub .500 team.

Also, when Staubach left Dallas, the Cowboys remained a legitimate NFL playoff team for more than another six years. Unitas, on the other hand, left a team that went into a brief, but major, decline.


There's more my ranking the two than that, but this comparison helps this aspect to really stand out.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare
I don't know so much with Rodgers, Favre definitely brings up an interesting point with me. That is, I typically rank him around 15 in my own rankings (not formula based), but if this were only about my observations, I wouldn't rank him in the top 30. When I do lists, even if they're supposed to be just an opinion, I find myself going with "this is my best effort to rank players according to what I think is perceived as fair" and trying to put my own potential bias into check in deference to many people who think Favre was better than I think he was.

I saw Favre as largely an overhyped media sensation who happened to be playing during the mid-90s when Michael Jordan was on the rise. Also in the sports world, the steroid era began in baseball, and everything was about the big boppers. I think Favre style just jived with a certain era in American sports where biger was better; the big armed, big throwing quarterback with the big touchdown passes and big stats...

...and you might also argue that Favre was the last quarterback of the pre-analytics era...people basing opinions on what the eye test tells you, about total touchdowns, etc. without regard to turnovers, poor decisions, inefficiency, etc. You heard on MNF week after week about his "cannon arm" which is generally a bunch of crap and hype according to virtually every test I can find (the idea that certain guys throw the ball so much harder than anyone else.)

In Favre's three consecutive MVP seasons, he threw 42 interceptions, didn't have a single season with a passer rating over 100 (in fact, never did in his career), and yet still won when he shouldn't have against better players like Young and even tied Barry Sanders, who might have had the best year of the decade.

I don't even have to get into his bonehead losses, but the Minnesota game is the tip of the iceberg. So many meltdowns, moronic decisions in the biggest moments...I am convinced that he was the main reason the 90s/2000s Packers didn't become a dynasty; they were pretty loaded with talent.

So, if the spreadsheet, with more input data, is starting to show Favre falling, I can assure everyone there's no vendetta. I didn't even realize this until it was pointed out. But I believe it's headed in the right direction in pushing down the list some of the big volume, big accolade winnng QBs who were more sizzle than they were steak.
 

Bleedthrough

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
I don't know so much with Rodgers, Favre definitely brings up an interesting point with me. That is, I typically rank him around 15 in my own rankings (not formula based), but if this were only about my observations, I wouldn't rank him in the top 30. When I do lists, even if they're supposed to be just an opinion, I find myself going with "this is my best effort to rank players according to what I think is perceived as fair" and trying to put my own potential bias into check in deference to many people who think Favre was better than I think he was.

I saw Favre as largely an overhyped media sensation who happened to be playing during the mid-90s when Michael Jordan was on the rise. Also in the sports world, the steroid era began in baseball, and everything was about the big boppers. I think Favre style just jived with a certain era in American sports where biger was better; the big armed, big throwing quarterback with the big touchdown passes and big stats...

...and you might also argue that Favre was the last quarterback of the pre-analytics era...people basing opinions on what the eye test tells you, about total touchdowns, etc. without regard to turnovers, poor decisions, inefficiency, etc. You heard on MNF week after week about his "cannon arm" which is generally a bunch of crap and hype according to virtually every test I can find (the idea that certain guys throw the ball so much harder than anyone else.)

In Favre's three consecutive MVP seasons, he threw 42 interceptions, didn't have a single season with a passer rating over 100 (in fact, never did in his career), and yet still won when he shouldn't have against better players like Young and even tied Barry Sanders, who might have had the best year of the decade.

I don't even have to get into his bonehead losses, but the Minnesota game is the tip of the iceberg. So many meltdowns, moronic decisions in the biggest moments...I am convinced that he was the main reason the 90s/2000s Packers didn't become a dynasty; they were pretty loaded with talent.

So, if the spreadsheet, with more input data, is starting to show Favre falling, I can assure everyone there's no vendetta. I didn't even realize this until it was pointed out. But I believe it's headed in the right direction in pushing down the list some of the big volume, big accolade winnng QBs who were more sizzle than they were steak.
I do think Favre was overhyped, and I think one of the main reasons is because most people found him so likable and entertaining to watch since you never knew if he was going to throw a 60 yard laser for a touchdown, or a stupid interception. Even now you get the occasional person who either grew up watching him or was a huge fan that try to put him in that 4-7 range. I’ve seen it multiple times.

First things that come to mind when I think of Favre other than longevity and counting stats are usually the 6 interception game against the Rams in 2001, the 4 interception game against an 8-8 Vikings team at Lambeau in 2004, and the interceptions against the Giants and Saints. All of those were in the playoffs.

The 3 MVP’s are nice and I give him credit for those, but as you mentioned, did he fully deserve all 3? I also don’t like how he played 19 seasons, and never once had a top offense, and only had a top 10 offense for 10 of those 19 seasons.
 

1960Pats

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
On the other hand, Rodgers is risk averse to the point where it hurts his team because he's not willing to gamble on a hit to his stats, and he's not been anywhere near Favre's class when it comes to 4th quarter comebacks.
Rodgers' lack of comebacks, especially against good teams, is a huge negative stat. I think a QB has to gamble to bring teams back and that's probably why he hasn't.

I think interceptions are also a huge negative stat, and that's where Rodgers has it over Favre, who gave the ball back to his opponents at a much higher rate.
 

Bleedthrough

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
@Ice_Ice_Brady I know you mentioned it in the original post, but I’d be interested to see your actual quarterback rankings, and perhaps your criteria?
 
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sean10mm

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Rodgers was like a mirror universe Favre, he went for the big play a lot like Favre, but instead of throwing picks took sacks.

Sacks aren't as stigmatized as interceptions but they are still negative plays that the QB plays a large role in.

Rodgers is also allergic to taking risks down 2 scores in the 4th quarter, even where that's the only way to win in that situation, because it raises the chances of throwing a pick. He's more concerned with avoiding blame and having a clean stat line than winning. "Rodgers had a 100 passer rating so the coach/his teammates must be to blame" is what he lives for basically.

So I kind of don't think much more of Rodgers than I do Favre really.
 

venecol

The FRG has a little ****
So, if the spreadsheet, with more input data, is starting to show Favre falling, I can assure everyone there's no vendetta. I didn't even realize this until it was pointed out. But I believe it's headed in the right direction in pushing down the list some of the big volume, big accolade winnng QBs who were more sizzle than they were steak.
We can call it the dickpic factor.
 

Deus Irae

PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club
PatsFans.com Supporter
Rodgers was like a mirror universe Favre, he went for the big play a lot like Favre, but instead of throwing picks took sacks.

Sacks aren't as stigmatized as interceptions but they are still negative plays that the QB plays a large role in.

Rodgers is also allergic to taking risks down 2 scores in the 4th quarter, even where that's the only way to win in that situation, because it raises the chances of throwing a pick. He's more concerned with avoiding blame and having a clean stat line than winning. "Rodgers had a 100 passer rating so the coach/his teammates must be to blame" is what he lives for basically.

So I kind of don't think much more of Rodgers than I do Favre really.

I've often looked at Favre and Bledsoe as sort of the bridge guys of the QB position. They played in the final days of bombs away ball, and filled in the gap until the modern, high percentage version of pass happy came to dominate the league. I think Bledsoe would have been an unquestioned HOF QB if he'd come around a decade, or even 5 years, earlier, and I think a lot of people who dismiss Favre for the interceptions would view him much more favorably.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare
@Ice_Ice_Brady I know you mentioned it in the original post, but I’d be interested to see your actual quarterback rankings, and perhaps your criteria?

The tiers we posted are a good guide post. This project has forced me to look closer at a lot of the numbers and performances. For example, I didn't realize just how great Fran Tarkenton and Norm Van Brocklin were during their eras. Here are my personal ranks right now with comments about the what the data weighting...but definitely subject to change.

1. Brady
2. Montana
3. Graham (he moved down a slot upon further research; his NFL-only stats are very dominant but not superhuman)
4. Starr
5. Unitas
6. Staubach (he has moved up my personal rankings, too, due to amazing era-adjusted performance)
7. Manning (There may be some bias here, but he never led his team to a title; the thing is, do we also scrutinize the title performances of other guys? Not likely...we just call them championships, so I acknowledge there's some unfair bias due to my direct observations)
8. Young (I can adjust for him losing years of his career wasting away as a backup; it's harder for the computer rankings to apply that consistently.)
9. Luckman (I had always ranked Baugh over Luckman, but other than consensus, I don't see any reason to)
10. Baugh
---
Now, as we know, we're really in a class of trade-offs where these opinions about these guys can change based on your daily thoughts re: longevity vs short-term dominance and some other factors...but just my preference today:

11. Dawson (he did everything necessary to be ranked here; most underappreciated QB in history; his peak season, which is high, was after the merger, confirming he shoul get full appreciation for AFL years)
12. Elway
13. Rodgers
14. Marino
15. Bradshaw
16. Brees (the peak aspect is important to me, and he has never been there)
17. Tarkenton

After that, I'm really down to some pretty big guesses due to a lack of full understanding. but just a few notes from the data feedback:

Layne - Passer rating pretty terrrible compared to what you'd expect; he's a good case to study and figure out what's missing because passer rating might be further off than usual

Aikman - He only has a 57% career winning pct. I don't see how he's a top 20 and maybe not even top 25

Van Brocklin - I don't know too much about him, but he gets huge era-adjusted performance grades

Griese - Era-adjusted stats show he's a much better QB than people give him credit for

Danowski and Thompson are both Hall of Fame snubs; both are short on experience (5/6 years), but they racked up more championship, accolade, and performance points during that time than some other guys who got in
 

Bleedthrough

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
The tiers we posted are a good guide post. This project has forced me to look closer at a lot of the numbers and performances. For example, I didn't realize just how great Fran Tarkenton and Norm Van Brocklin were during their eras. Here are my personal ranks right now with comments about the what the data weighting...but definitely subject to change.

1. Brady
2. Montana
3. Graham (he moved down a slot upon further research; his NFL-only stats are very dominant but not superhuman)
4. Starr
5. Unitas
6. Staubach (he has moved up my personal rankings, too, due to amazing era-adjusted performance)
7. Manning (There may be some bias here, but he never led his team to a title; the thing is, do we also scrutinize the title performances of other guys? Not likely...we just call them championships, so I acknowledge there's some unfair bias due to my direct observations)
8. Young (I can adjust for him losing years of his career wasting away as a backup; it's harder for the computer rankings to apply that consistently.)
9. Luckman (I had always ranked Baugh over Luckman, but other than consensus, I don't see any reason to)
10. Baugh
---
Now, as we know, we're really in a class of trade-offs where these opinions about these guys can change based on your daily thoughts re: longevity vs short-term dominance and some other factors...but just my preference today:

11. Dawson (he did everything necessary to be ranked here; most underappreciated QB in history; his peak season, which is high, was after the merger, confirming he shoul get full appreciation for AFL years)
12. Elway
13. Rodgers
14. Marino
15. Bradshaw
16. Brees (the peak aspect is important to me, and he has never been there)
17. Tarkenton

After that, I'm really down to some pretty big guesses due to a lack of full understanding. but just a few notes from the data feedback:

Layne - Passer rating pretty terrrible compared to what you'd expect; he's a good case to study and figure out what's missing because passer rating might be further off than usual

Aikman - He only has a 57% career winning pct. I don't see how he's a top 20 and maybe not even top 25

Van Brocklin - I don't know too much about him, but he gets huge era-adjusted performance grades

Griese - Era-adjusted stats show he's a much better QB than people give him credit for

Danowski and Thompson are both Hall of Fame snubs; both are short on experience (5/6 years), but they racked up more championship, accolade, and performance points during that time than some other guys who got in
Great list. I’m trying to create criteria for mine right now before I place them in order.

I too have always thought Baugh was better than Luckman since that’s what you usually hear as the consensus. But looking at the available info on them, I find myself thinking Luckman may have been the better quarterback.

I like your grouping of Elway, Rodgers, Marino, Bradshaw, and Brees. Definitely think they're all relatively close and could be placed in almost any order.
 
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Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare
I’m working on making the sheet easier to follow visually and will post in when ready. It’s hard to really have a discussion when all you see are numbers all over the place.
 

Bleedthrough

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Was looking around at some stats and numbers yesterday and came across this:
From 1992-1998, Steve Young had a passer rating of 102.5. The NEXT BEST was Favre at 89.4.

Even with the short career, Steve Young should get talked about a lot more in the 8-10 range by the general public. He really only got to play 8 seasons with the 49ers if you think about it and in those 8 seasons he had:
7 Pro Bowls
6 All-Pro (3 1st/3 2nd)
2 MVP
6x Passer Rating Leader
5x Completion % Leader
4x Passing Touchdown Leader
2x Lowest Interception % Leader
5x Y/A Leader

At least as far as the modern era goes, him and Staubach have to be the most underrated quarterbacks that I can think of.
 

Bleedthrough

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
I’m working on making the sheet easier to follow visually and will post in when ready. It’s hard to really have a discussion when all you see are numbers all over the place.
Can't wait. This thread makes me feel like I have someplace to discuss this stuff without having to deal with trolls and people who think football only started 30 years ago.

Makes me feel like less of a nerd talking about this stuff with like-minded individuals haha.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare
Was looking around at some stats and numbers yesterday and came across this:
From 1992-1998, Steve Young had a passer rating of 102.5. The NEXT BEST was Favre at 89.4.

Even with the short career, Steve Young should get talked about a lot more in the 8-10 range by the general public. He really only got to play 8 seasons with the 49ers if you think about it and in those 8 seasons he had:
7 Pro Bowls
6 All-Pro (3 1st/3 2nd)
2 MVP
6x Passer Rating Leader
5x Completion % Leader
4x Passing Touchdown Leader
2x Lowest Interception % Leader
5x Y/A Leader

At least as far as the modern era goes, him and Staubach have to be the most underrated quarterbacks that I can think of.

Young was so ridiculously good...and one of the best running QBs too. Those 49ers teams had to face the Cowboys and Packers in the mid-90s. Some of the best playoff games (or at least, star-studded) I can remember.
 

Bleedthrough

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
After weeks of playing around with formulas, I think I'm done with that route. Feel like some players just don't line up in that range I know they belong even after multiple changes. Maybe I’ll come back to it eventually.

Considering starting a spreadsheet and entering all important data for 100ish quarterbacks, so I can have it all in front of me. Then create some criteria. That way I'll have their numbers (with context), accolades, winning, traits I feel are important for a quarterback, intangibles, and a little bit of eye test.
 

Deus Irae

PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club
PatsFans.com Supporter
Was looking around at some stats and numbers yesterday and came across this:
From 1992-1998, Steve Young had a passer rating of 102.5. The NEXT BEST was Favre at 89.4.

Even with the short career, Steve Young should get talked about a lot more in the 8-10 range by the general public. He really only got to play 8 seasons with the 49ers if you think about it and in those 8 seasons he had:
7 Pro Bowls
6 All-Pro (3 1st/3 2nd)
2 MVP
6x Passer Rating Leader
5x Completion % Leader
4x Passing Touchdown Leader
2x Lowest Interception % Leader
5x Y/A Leader

At least as far as the modern era goes, him and Staubach have to be the most underrated quarterbacks that I can think of.
Just bringing this up again because you can see where Young got slotted:

The definitive list: Top 10 NFL quarterbacks
 

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