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Sep 12th

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Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare
Geez I don't know. Horrible line play can affect a QBs sack percentage. Receivers not getting open etc.. can affect a QBs sack percentage. Playcalling can affect a QBs sack percentage. It's not all on the QB imo.

What I mean by it being a QB stat is that, like completion pct, touchdowns, interceptions, yards/attempt, it's part of the passing game's bottom line. The standard passer rating formula was made before sacks were even recorded as statistics, so it was left out. So who is actually to blame has less to do with it than it being a part of the quarterback's overall performance score. Receivers, coaches, blocking, and really everyone has some responsibility for all the other stats too.

But I'll take it a step further: 99% of it is because Marino got rid of the ball quicker than Rodgers, and Rodgers is often praised for his freelancing and bailing on the pocket to throw on the run. Sacks, like interceptions, are huge negative plays. I'd love to run an analysis at some point on what I'm seeing with (a) passer rating, and (b) adjusted net yards per attempt. Adjusted net yards per attempt takes sacks into account, and the results are very different in terms of perfomance. I'm willing to be a lot of money that any/a has a much higher correlation to both points scored and winning pct.
 

Tony2046

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2019 Weekly Picks Winner
What I mean by it being a QB stat is that, like completion pct, touchdowns, interceptions, yards/attempt, it's part of the passing game's bottom line. The standard passer rating formula was made before sacks were even recorded as statistics, so it was left out. So who is actually to blame has less to do with it than it being a part of the quarterback's overall performance score. Receivers, coaches, blocking, and really everyone has some responsibility for all the other stats too.

But I'll take it a step further: 99% of it is because Marino got rid of the ball quicker than Rodgers, and Rodgers is often praised for his freelancing and bailing on the pocket to throw on the run. Sacks, like interceptions, are huge negative plays. I'd love to run an analysis at some point on what I'm seeing with (a) passer rating, and (b) adjusted net yards per attempt. Adjusted net yards per attempt takes sacks into account, and the results are very different in terms of perfomance. I'm willing to be a lot of money that any/a has a much higher correlation to both points scored and winning pct.

Ok. That makes sense. Good stuff.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare
Something has come up with the statistical/performance adjustments that's really got me thinking.

After I applied the ANY/A to the system and saw an improvement (imo), I went back to look at pre-1969 seasons to see if a similar measure would work well (AY/A - which is the same thing except no sacks.)

It doesn't really work...the further you go back in time, the less effective it becomes. And here's why I think it is:

-Interceptions, in that formula, are minus-45 yards, whereas touchdowns are plus-20 yards. So looking at today's NFL, you'd need a little better than 2:1 ratio for a positive gain on your yards/attempt. But when you go back in time, that number becomes not just unattainbale - it actually wrecks the the entire measurement. When a good season for players is 15 TDs and 25 INTs, the interception point multipliers just wreck everything; they negate the touchdown passes, the yards/attempt, etc. So you wind up with some bizarre results that don't tell you much.

-Passer rating, as the alternative, is superior, but that's only because it limits interceptions to 1/4 of the equation; it still misses a lot, though. It's still very much a "broad brush" approach though; it is accurate but not precise.

But here's what I think is an interesting question, not just about passing stats, but about sports in general: should we look at performance stats through the lens of modern analysis?

Interceptions, as we know them today, are certainly big negatives. It's possible that the AY/A formula is actually correct in assigning that value. But quarterbacks generally didn't care about interceptions like they do now; teams generally saw them as an "oh dang" thing that happened a few times per game, and the focus was much more on the positive plays, big gains, yards, and touchdown passes. It's doubtful that low-interception quarterbacks, if they even existed in the 1940s, would even get much praise. Also, the defensive rules and less complex passing game principles made interceptions less about skill and more about inevitability.

So, are interceptions even relevant to the equation when we try to apply statistical analysis to players prior to the modern era? I think, at the least, the are much, much less relevant. In dramtically reducing the yards deduction for interceptions in the 1930s, for example, it looks like the quarterbacks are coming up in a more appropriate order based on their win %, accolades, etc. It becomes challenging on where to set that per era, though, but it's clear that the one-size-fits-all measurement is actually the worst of all of them, unless you just eliminate interceptions altogether.

This is relevant for other sports, too In basketball, do we penalize Michael Jordan for our newly found points per shot standard that rewards greatly for 3 pointers and punishes for those mid-range jumpers that are now conisdered horrible decisions? That was Jordan's game. It worked for him, obviously, but now his stats become problematic. In baseball, guys used to be asked to avoid walks, swing for the fences, etc., and now post sabermetrics, their performance scores would look bad, even though they did what was expected of them during their time, even if that might not have been the best thing in retrospect.

Just some thoughts....welcome your opinions on this.
 

Bleedthrough

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Something has come up with the statistical/performance adjustments that's really got me thinking.

After I applied the ANY/A to the system and saw an improvement (imo), I went back to look at pre-1969 seasons to see if a similar measure would work well (AY/A - which is the same thing except no sacks.)

It doesn't really work...the further you go back in time, the less effective it becomes. And here's why I think it is:

-Interceptions, in that formula, are minus-45 yards, whereas touchdowns are plus-20 yards. So looking at today's NFL, you'd need a little better than 2:1 ratio for a positive gain on your yards/attempt. But when you go back in time, that number becomes not just unattainbale - it actually wrecks the the entire measurement. When a good season for players is 15 TDs and 25 INTs, the interception point multipliers just wreck everything; they negate the touchdown passes, the yards/attempt, etc. So you wind up with some bizarre results that don't tell you much.

-Passer rating, as the alternative, is superior, but that's only because it limits interceptions to 1/4 of the equation; it still misses a lot, though. It's still very much a "broad brush" approach though; it is accurate but not precise.

But here's what I think is an interesting question, not just about passing stats, but about sports in general: should we look at performance stats through the lens of modern analysis?

Interceptions, as we know them today, are certainly big negatives. It's possible that the AY/A formula is actually correct in assigning that value. But quarterbacks generally didn't care about interceptions like they do now; teams generally saw them as an "oh dang" thing that happened a few times per game, and the focus was much more on the positive plays, big gains, yards, and touchdown passes. It's doubtful that low-interception quarterbacks, if they even existed in the 1940s, would even get much praise. Also, the defensive rules and less complex passing game principles made interceptions less about skill and more about inevitability.

So, are interceptions even relevant to the equation when we try to apply statistical analysis to players prior to the modern era? I think, at the least, the are much, much less relevant. In dramtically reducing the yards deduction for interceptions in the 1930s, for example, it looks like the quarterbacks are coming up in a more appropriate order based on their win %, accolades, etc. It becomes challenging on where to set that per era, though, but it's clear that the one-size-fits-all measurement is actually the worst of all of them, unless you just eliminate interceptions altogether.

This is relevant for other sports, too In basketball, do we penalize Michael Jordan for our newly found points per shot standard that rewards greatly for 3 pointers and punishes for those mid-range jumpers that are now conisdered horrible decisions? That was Jordan's game. It worked for him, obviously, but now his stats become problematic. In baseball, guys used to be asked to avoid walks, swing for the fences, etc., and now post sabermetrics, their performance scores would look bad, even though they did what was expected of them during their time, even if that might not have been the best thing in retrospect.

Just some thoughts....welcome your opinions on this.
I personally don't like looking at performance stats through the lens of modern analysis. Players can only compete in the time period they were born into, and then try to perform according to the analysis/thought process of that time period.

I'll use Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner as examples. Their home run numbers and walk rates are going to look terrible compared to any era after. But the baseball they played with, combined with the analysis of the proper way to play the game back then made those numbers impossible to look good. They have high average, high doubles and triples, and high stolen base rates which modern analysis/sabermetrics don't really value too highly compared to how much they were back then. I'm sure if they played the majority of their career 10-20 years later when the long ball started to become big, they would have put up more home runs and a higher walk rate. Some people like to try and incorporate how a player would look in the current game into their rankings, but I've never found that fair. It's also an impossible task.

I believe guys like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady would be way more efficient and would be attempting and hitting three-pointers at a higher rate if you put them in the modern NBA. During that time period, the mid-range jumper was considered the better shot over a three-pointer. But we never got to see them play with the modern way of thinking, so I'm not going to upgrade or downgrade them over that.

On my top 10 lists, in the NFL only Brady and Manning debuted after 1985. MLB position players, Bonds is the only player on my list who debuted after 1954. I just have never been able to dock the older guys and give boosts to the more recent and current players. If I feel a player who played long ago benefited from a weak era then I'll look into that and potentially downgrade them some. But I'm not going to omit players like Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Otto Graham, and Bill Russell in favor of players who were worse against their peers than them but started their careers after 1980/1990.
 
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Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare
I personally don't like looking at performance stats through the lens of modern analysis. Players can only compete in the time period they were born into, and then try to perform according to the analysis/thought process of that time period.

I'll use Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner as examples. Their home run numbers and walk rates are going to look terrible compared to any era after. But the baseball they played with, combined with the analysis of the proper way to play the game back then made those numbers impossible to look good. They have high average, high doubles and triples, and high stolen base rates which modern analysis/sabermetrics don't really value too highly compared to how much they were back then. I'm sure if they played the majority of their career 10-20 years later when the long ball started to become big, they would have put up more home runs and a higher walk rate. Some people like to try and incorporate how a player would look in the current game into their rankings, but I've never found that fair. It's also an impossible task.

I believe guys like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady would be way more efficient and would be attempting and hitting three-pointers at a higher rate if you put them in the modern NBA. During that time period, the mid-range jumper was considered the better shot over a three-pointer. But we never got to see them play with the modern way of thinking, so I'm not going to upgrade or downgrade them over that.

On my top 10 lists, in the NFL only Brady and Manning debuted after 1985. MLB position players, Bonds is the only player on my list who debuted after 1954. I just have never been able to dock the older guys and give boosts to the more recent and current players. If I feel a player who played long ago benefited from a weak era then I'll look into that and potentially downgrade them some. But I'm not going to omit players like Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Otto Graham, and Bill Russell in favor of players who were worse against their peers than them but started their careers after 1980/1990.

Those are some really good examples. Especially the basketball guys who were more recent, so we all saw them play. There's little doubt that Jordan would have adapted his game for higher volume 3-pointers if he'd understood the modern analytics perspective on it...in fact, LeBron has changed his game to become a better long-range shooter.

I've found in football, it's difficult not to have some modern perspective bias because a lot of these guys played so long ago, it's hard to really grasp how much of their negative performance as due to their own failures and how much was due to my failure to understand the standard. The hardest ones to rate are Baugh and Luckman because they're playing in an in-between era. Both are throwing fewer interceptions than their peers, and the measure is really important for Baugh because he's not that great if you remove the interceptions...but then if you heavily weigh the interceptions, every other player from the era basically loses any credible performance score. And then, as you alluded to above, there's also the idea that they are playing in a weak era because they are...WWII has taken its toll on the league, so it's watered down, and everyone else is an interception machine.

I'm starting to think the best performance/stat measure is the flattest one...one that has the fewest extremes.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare
The other question I have is this: how relevant is completion percentage? It makes up 1/4 of the passer rating formula. It seems to me like it's highly overvalued, if even relevant at all. Yards/attempt already accounts for what completion pct is trying to show us. I've found that with the other passer ratings areas (YA, TD, INT), you're going to get a really good sense of the player's performance, especially when you add in the sacks too with ANY/A. But I've found completion percentage is often very misleading and way more about a team's approach than accuracy. And in fact, it many times signifies the QB is worse and is just given safe, low-risk dumpoff responsibilities.

I think this is another where it has more value in one era than another. I can see it having meaning when the game wasn't about the short-strike passing attack that relies on high percentages and more about chucking the ball downfield. But perhaps this is another reason why ANY/A seems to do a better job of sizing up the modern QBs.

Take a look at this **** show....why would you want to muddy the waters by using completion pct - a key component of passer rating - when this is the terrible job it does at attempting to assign performance rank.

1617644421392.png
 

Nehalem

In the Starting Line-Up
The other question I have is this: how relevant is completion percentage? It makes up 1/4 of the passer rating formula. It seems to me like it's highly overvalued, if even relevant at all. Yards/attempt already accounts for what completion pct is trying to show us. I've found that with the other passer ratings areas (YA, TD, INT), you're going to get a really good sense of the player's performance, especially when you add in the sacks too with ANY/A. But I've found completion percentage is often very misleading and way more about a team's approach than accuracy. And in fact, it many times signifies the QB is worse and is just given safe, low-risk dumpoff responsibilities.

I think this is another where it has more value in one era than another. I can see it having meaning when the game wasn't about the short-strike passing attack that relies on high percentages and more about chucking the ball downfield. But perhaps this is another reason why ANY/A seems to do a better job of sizing up the modern QBs.

Take a look at this **** show....why would you want to muddy the waters by using completion pct - a key component of passer rating - when this is the terrible job it does at attempting to assign performance rank.

View attachment 31927
You could have just gone with Cam Newton had a higher comp% than Tom Brady in 2020 :eek:
 

Bleedthrough

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
The other question I have is this: how relevant is completion percentage? It makes up 1/4 of the passer rating formula. It seems to me like it's highly overvalued, if even relevant at all. Yards/attempt already accounts for what completion pct is trying to show us. I've found that with the other passer ratings areas (YA, TD, INT), you're going to get a really good sense of the player's performance, especially when you add in the sacks too with ANY/A. But I've found completion percentage is often very misleading and way more about a team's approach than accuracy. And in fact, it many times signifies the QB is worse and is just given safe, low-risk dumpoff responsibilities.

I think this is another where it has more value in one era than another. I can see it having meaning when the game wasn't about the short-strike passing attack that relies on high percentages and more about chucking the ball downfield. But perhaps this is another reason why ANY/A seems to do a better job of sizing up the modern QBs.

Take a look at this **** show....why would you want to muddy the waters by using completion pct - a key component of passer rating - when this is the terrible job it does at attempting to assign performance rank.

View attachment 31927
Completion percentage doesn’t really mean anything to me. Anyone who has watched a Saints game over the last decade will know what I'm talking about.
 
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1960Pats

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PatsFans.com Supporter
I grew up and fell in love with football with Sonny J as my QB. Still love watching him work. And have yet to see someone with better touch on the ball.

I feel blessed to have been able to see Sonny and all the other players from the 50's and 60's. It was a great time to be alive.
 

1960Pats

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I don't understand when people point to Manning's playoff failures but ignore the other four. Yes, Manning lost and under-performed as the favorite more than them, but the records are almost the same

Manning: 14-13
Favre: 13-11
Rodgers: 11-9
Brees: 9-9
Marino: 8-10
I'm guessing that it's PEDton's 9 one and done playoffs that hurt him compared to those others. Quite often those one and done playoffs came after his team had a top seed.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare
I've had some other stuff in my life come up, which is pretty ridiculous because it meant I couldn't geek out more on this lately. I made sure to let everyone around me know how insignificant their needs are in contrast to building a QB ranking system, so hopefully they got the point and won't bother me ever again.

Planning to update the rankings in the next few days with those changes to statistical standards for each era. Nothing will be dramatic, but I'm looking for it to be more consistent. The 1932-49 players have caused me to really dig deeper into what was expected of them during their time; one thing that's kind of thrown a wrench in it: Sammy Baugh was terrific at avoiding interceptions, but if you make that a key part of the equation, it really wrecks the era-adjustments for other players...so a balancing act in finding the right measure to apply consistently.

Then onto the 1951-1965 timeframe. I'll be most interested in Unitas and how he stacks up historically, since there seems to be a split between his actual performance stats/winning pct and his reputation as a trailblazer. Did he do things that Graham wasn't able to do? Was he that much better (championships and awards aside) from Tittle and Van Brocklin? Starr also a very interesting player here, in terms of where he belongs, though I think it comes down to personal preference instead of a deep dive.

Also, there's the question of the AFL and how much weight you give it. I think that beginning in 1966, you have to at that point treat the AFL as an equal with the NFL, in terms of stats and accomplishments, even if it actually took a few more years to get there. I am comfortable with the championship/runner-up weighted achievements now but not in the stats/winning pct and awards. But 1960-65 perhaps not so much.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare
Here's one worth posting about.

Young Bussey was a player who I'd never heard of, and I only ran his stats through the the spreadsheet because he had a few snaps in a playoff game (I enter all the players who threw a pass because there's a division of responsibility for those wins/losses pre-1950.). He came up with a notably high era rating, albeit in just 40 passing attempts with the 1941 Bears.

1617950327905.png
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare
@Bleedthrough

I could have sworn you posted something in this thread last night and was going to respond but fell asleep. Maybe it as a QB stat-induced fever dream? This thread has been doing weird stuff - I couldn't search for it for some reason and had to Google it, so maybe it got deleted, but feel free to re-post. Wouldn't mind reviving this discussion.
 

Bleedthrough

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
@Bleedthrough

I could have sworn you posted something in this thread last night and was going to respond but fell asleep. Maybe it as a QB stat-induced fever dream? This thread has been doing weird stuff - I couldn't search for it for some reason and had to Google it, so maybe it got deleted, but feel free to re-post. Wouldn't mind reviving this discussion.
Wow that's weird. I posted last night and actually saw the post submitted and this thread bumped to the top of the forum. But now it's just gone.
 

Bleedthrough

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
I came across a greatest quarterbacks article from March 2021 last night

1. Tom Brady
2. Peyton Manning
3. Brett Favre
4. Johnny Unitas
5. Joe Montana
6. Drew Brees
7. Dan Marino
8. Aaron Rodgers
9. John Elway
10. Bart Starr
11. Steve Young
12. Fran Tarkenton
13. Sid Luckman
14. Terry Bradshaw
15. Otto Graham
16. Ben Roethlisberger
17. Sammy Baugh
18. Bob Griese
19. Kurt Warner
20. Troy Aikman
21. Bobby Layne
22. Philip Rivers
23. Warren Moon
24. Eli Manning
25. Dan Fouts
26. Len Dawson
27. Ken Stabler
28. Roger Staubach
29. Norm Van Brocklin
30. Jim Kelly
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare
I came across a greatest quarterbacks article from March 2021 last night

1. Tom Brady
2. Peyton Manning
3. Brett Favre
4. Johnny Unitas
5. Joe Montana
6. Drew Brees
7. Dan Marino
8. Aaron Rodgers
9. John Elway
10. Bart Starr
11. Steve Young
12. Fran Tarkenton
13. Sid Luckman
14. Terry Bradshaw
15. Otto Graham
16. Ben Roethlisberger
17. Sammy Baugh
18. Bob Griese
19. Kurt Warner
20. Troy Aikman
21. Bobby Layne
22. Philip Rivers
23. Warren Moon
24. Eli Manning
25. Dan Fouts
26. Len Dawson
27. Ken Stabler
28. Roger Staubach
29. Norm Van Brocklin
30. Jim Kelly

Strange list...not terrible overall but has some very bizarre ranks in there. I imagine someone used some kind of weighted system to come up with these results though. Where is it from?

Looking at where some of these are, I would guess there's heavy dose of counting/longevity stats and big passing yards. That would explain the upranking for Favre, Brees, and Marino. Staubach being at #28 is really absurd and that part makes me wonder if there's some fan bias. I don't know how anyone could come up with a list that has Eli > Staubach and yet have an overall list that's someone reasonable.

I do want to throw up seeing Roethlisberger over Baugh with this clearly being an all-time ranking project that must be doing some era adjusting. Oddly, though, his ranks from about 18-21 are in alignment with my rankings.
 

Bleedthrough

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Strange list...not terrible overall but has some very bizarre ranks in there. I imagine someone used some kind of weighted system to come up with these results though. Where is it from?

Looking at where some of these are, I would guess there's heavy dose of counting/longevity stats and big passing yards. That would explain the upranking for Favre, Brees, and Marino. Staubach being at #28 is really absurd and that part makes me wonder if there's some fan bias. I don't know how anyone could come up with a list that has Eli > Staubach and yet have an overall list that's someone reasonable.

I do want to throw up seeing Roethlisberger over Baugh with this clearly being an all-time ranking project that must be doing some era adjusting. Oddly, though, his ranks from about 18-21 are in alignment with my rankings.

Yeah some of the rankings are actually decent. But then you see Staubach at #28, Eli at #24, Favre at #3 just to name a few. The criteria sort of seems jumbled up.
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

Team Bill's Worst Nightmare

Yeah some of the rankings are actually decent. But then you see Staubach at #28, Eli at #24, Favre at #3 just to name a few. The criteria sort of seems jumbled up.

This is why I hate total passing yards, total passing touchdowns, or really any statistic that doesn't adjust, and you can see the results here despite a good attempt for a consistent ranking system. I'm not even getting into era-adjustment here...I'm just talking about schedule adjustments (12 games vs 16 games) and efficiency stats. They would fix a lot of this list's problems if they merely used passer rating, TD%, or almost any efficiency rating to at least balance out the longevity stats. I'm guessing they also put way too much stock into All Pros and MVPs, too, because Staubach only had one 2nd team all-pro, despite being all-decade and clearly the best QB of the 70s.

I'll give them some credit in that they did a good job of balancing championships and stats, but those total counting numbers are terrible gauges to compare QBs across different eras.

1620324870527.png
 

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