The Pi-Rate Ratings

November 29, 2020

Sunday Morning Musings

Roger Goodell Playing Favorites

Those of you coming to the PiRate Ratings expecting to see the updated college ratings, you will have to wait until Tuesday afternoon before they can be updated, because there is a game scheduled for Tuesday morning between Charlotte and Western Kentucky. We will update the ratings within 90 minutes of the finish of that game. Such is reality on Planet Covid.

The NFL also has a Tuesday game, this one to be played in primetime on NBC between rivals Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson is in the Covid Protocol, as are other players, and the game, originally scheduled for Thanksgiving night, was moved to Sunday and then to Tuesday. The reasoning must have something to do with the fact that both teams are in the playoff hunt and fighting for the AFC North title.

Head West to the Mountain Time Zone, flyover country to the elites in Manhattan, like NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The Denver Broncos have not one quarterback, but all the quarterbacks on their roster unable to play today against New Orleans. Is their game postponed until Tuesday to give at least one of the quarantined players a chance to get enough negative tests to play, or for Denver to sign a free agent QB and attempt to install a couple of series for him? Goodell apparently does not care as much about the Broncos as he does the Ravens. Not only is the game scheduled to be played today, he would not allow the Broncos to activate their one offensive assistant coach young enough to play, Rob Calabrese, and also competent enough to run the offense. Goodell nixed the precedent-setting move that would allow teams to “hide” players as basically extra practice squad members.

Calabrese is not a ringer. He is 30 years old and a one-time part-time starting quarterback at Central Florida. He actually was moved to wide receiver for his final year at UCF. In his college career, he threw a total of 254 passes, completing just 46% of them and averaged a measly five yards per attempt. These are not stats of a “ringer.”

You might say that Denver is headed to the basement of the AFC West this year, so it doesn’t matter that they are forced to play almost a Single Wing offense today without any single wing series to take much advantage of the added running strength. In the NFL, this in essence makes for a walkover game for the New Orleans Saints. And, that is the problem. How fair is this to Tampa Bay? The Bucs did not get a walkover game on their schedule. New Orleans gets a free win.

How can Goodell gift New Orleans a win like this, and then he gives Baltimore five days extra to get ready for their game with Pittsburgh? The two games have comparable issues, but the ruling is 180° different.

What would happen if Denver announced today that they were unable to play and would have to forfeit the game? Goodell would be in hot water, and he’d be forced to take some additional type of action. If he backed down and moved the game to Tuesday, it would usurp his power and establish precedent for future caving in with the Commissioner’s office.

Goodell earns a salary near one million dollars a week! He certainly hasn’t earned that million this week.

Reverse Gold Rush

Santa Clara County, California, has issued a ban on contact sports (and almost everything else) inside the county for the next three weeks, as Covid numbers rise, leading to a potential emergency with unavailable hospital beds in the county. The San Francisco 49ers play their home games in Santa Clara, and they have two games scheduled inside this ban window. Where will the 49ers relocate for two games and three weeks?

Further complicating matters is the fact that one of those two games will be a Monday Night game against Buffalo. What that means is that the substitute stadium must have sufficient stadium lighting to meet the NFL’s and ESPN’s standards for televising a night game. While a day game could be played in any neighboring county, that Monday Night Football game almost has to be played in a professional sports stadium. Then, there is the issue of the substitute venue needing to have the technological advances that allow for instant replay and the keeping of the official book of the game–all those stats that every team needs for their analytics’ departments.

It leaves the team with few options if it wants to stay in the Bay Area and not separate players from their families. However, just because a venue has adequate lighting, there is no guarantee that the venue can be ready to host a football game on such short notice. Let’s look at some of the possibilities.

Oakland Coliseum: The O.Co housed the Oakland Raiders until this season. The Raiders had already declined to play one more season at the mausoleum if their new digs in Las Vegas were not ready on time. It isn’t easy to bring in all the personnel needed to convert a hibernating baseball park into an NFL stadium on short notice. It is possible, but it may be a secondary option at best.

California-Berkeley Memorial Stadium: This venue is also in Alameda County, and it is football ready with adequate lighting. Of course, UC may or may not wish to share their football facilities with additional teams. The locker rooms would have to be shared, meaning next week, there would be a Saturday college game followed by a Monday night (5:20 PM locally) NFL game. What would the labor and materials cost be to thoroughly disinfect two locker rooms on 48 hours notice? The electronics and computer setup would take the better part of a day to ready the stadium for Monday afternoon football. This is probably not possible.

Oracle Park: The home ballpark of the San Francisco Giants baseball team has adequate lighting and technological availability. The NFL approved the site as a potential one year rental for the Raiders, but the 49ers vetoed Oakland playing on their side of the Bay. It is the perfect venue to quickly ready a football game on eight days notice, but it has one major liability: San Francisco is likely to impose the same contact sports ban that Santa Clara County has imposed. There would be no way to play the 49ers-Bills game if it were unable to play in San Francisco about 72-96 hours before scheduled kickoff time. It’s probably too risky.

Redwood Bowl at Humboldt State University: This is almost an impossible probability, as it does not have the electronics needed to house an NFL game without several hours of installation. Additionally, it is likely to be a college football host for either Stanford, San Jose State, or both teams. Those two teams also must relocated.

Aggie Stadium–Davis, CA: This site offers a little better quality than the Redwood Bowl, and it is closer to the San Francisco area than Humboldt. But, it still lacks the electronic needs, and the lighting may have to be amended with temporary wattage for Monday Night Football. It could be the best option if the team wants to stay close to home, but Commissioner Goodell has proven not to always make the best option his priority.

Outside of California: This is the worst option for the players and coaches, but it is the NFL’s best option. All the counties surrounding the Bay are likely to impose the same restrictions by the middle of this week, so the real options are either the smaller college venues far removed from the Bay Area or moving out of state to NFL venues.

There is the option of moving the Monday Night game to Buffalo, but this would be as unfair to teams competing against the Bills as Goodell’s Folly of giving the Saints a free win.

The Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys offer potential Monday Night venues that would satisfy everybody but the 49ers players and coaches. When all is said and done, expect Goodell to put their needs aside when he makes the decision of where to allow the game to be played.

Detroit Lions Have A Candidate In Their Backyard

He’s just about reached his expiration date in Ann Arbor. Jim Harbaugh’s loss to winless Penn State yesterday may have sealed his fate with the Michigan Wolverines. At the same time, the Detroit Lions were issuing walking orders to coach Matt Patricia, yet another Bill Belichick disciple unable to replicate the Master’s success.

Would the Ford Family turn to Harbaugh? Personally, we do not see this being a good fit. Harbaugh’s smash mouth style of play is on the outs in college and pro football, and the Lions do not have the personnel to run that system. The Fords now have first dibs on hiring the best offensive mind available if he wants the job. Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy is the perfect candidate for the job. Harbaugh’s next job should be as a commentator for Fox Sports or CBS. He could be a second Tony Romo type for college or pro football.

September 20, 2016

NFL Ratings And Spreads For Week 3: September 22-26,2016

Quarterback Issues Abound

It is almost inevitable that in today’s philosophy of passing the ball more than running, and with a 16- game schedule, that quarterback injuries would increase from the prior generation of NFL Football.

Certain teams lack pass blockers sufficient to deter the superior pass rushers of today’s game, and all sorts of inventive disguising of pass rush have contributed as much if not more to the troubles.

Just two weeks into the 2016 NFL season, two teams are already on quarterback number three, and others have gone to quarterback number two.

In Cleveland, where the Browns were weak enough before losing Robert Griffin, III and Josh McCown, rookie Cody Kessler will get the start this week at Miami.  Adam Gase’s defense is not the issue in Dolphinland.  Expect Kessler to be running for his life early and often.

New England is down to quarterback number three only due to Tom Brady’d suspension.  If the Pats can sneak through two weeks with Jacoby Brissett, then the king can return.  And, if something should happen to Brissett Thursday night against Houston, we may see wide receiver Julian Edelman move to quarterback.  Edelman has beaten Buffalo and Miami while playing quarterback, but that was when he was at Kent State, and the two teams were the Buffalo Bulls and Miami of Ohio Redhawks.

Jay Cutler’s thumb injury could be reason for John Fox to go with Brian Hoyer.  The Bears, already struggling on offense, may have a difficult time matching the Rams for points in the near future.

Then there is the case of a possible Wally Pipp injury.  When Tony Romo went down in Dallas, rookie Dak Prescott entered and drew comparisons to Roger Staubach.  Staubach once came in as a replacement to Craig Morton.  It took a little shuffling, but Morton soon became a bench-warmer before becoming a New York Giant and Denver Bronco.  Staubach led the Cowboys to two Super Bowl Championships and two others, where Dallas came very close to winning.

And, there is Sam Bradford in Minnesota.  This Vikings team may have to totally change the way it plays now with Adrian Peterson out for a lengthy time and maybe the season.  Bradford showed signs of returning to form in the Sunday night win over Green Bay.  The Vikings have been down this road before.  After the Joe Kapp, Dave Osborn, Bill Brown days of plodding offense, and the two-year babysitting of the job by Gary Cuozzo, Fran Tarkenton came back to Bloomington after a five-year sojourn in the Big Apple, and he teamed up with John Gilliam and Jim Lash, while the Purple People Eaters’ defense continued to dominate, leading the Vikings to the Super Bowl three times in four seasons.  Might this be the year the Vikings make it back?  The NFC looks like a wide-open race this year.

 

Two Weeks Are Not A Trend, But

Through two weeks of the season, the average score of an NFL game comes to less than 42 points per game, or less than 21 points per team.  The Los Angeles Rams have three field goals in two games.  The Seattle Seahawks have three field goals and a touchdown in two games, and that one TD came with 30 seconds remaining at home against Miami.  Is it because the Dolphins and Rams have great defenses that Seattle is averaging just 7.5 points per game?  Are the 49ers and Seahawks so strong defensively that LA averages just 4.5 points per game?

San Francisco gave up close to 50 to Carolina last week.  The problem at the L.A. Coliseum is an archaic offense that Jeff Fisher refuses to alter.  He is a Mike Ditka disciple, but he needs to realize that the 1985 Bears are not coming through the Coliseum locker room doors.  He does not have Eddie George in his backfield, even though Todd Gurley is talented.

Sports metric experts have shown that the key to winning in the NFL is being able to pass the ball and being able to stop the pass.  Running stats are padded by winning teams because they usually run the ball to eat the clock when they lead in the last 20 minutes of games, and the losing team abandons the run to try to catch up.  Fisher is basically the Gene Mauch of football.  Mauch took a lot of excellent baseball teams and guided them to respectable 90-win seasons, while the talent on hand was good enough to win 100 games.

Fisher isn’t alone.  Mike Mularkey and Rex Ryan think you can be the 1985 Bears or even 1963 Bears and win the Super Bowl.  It is true that Denver won last year without a dominating passing game, but they did not have a dominating running game.  They dominated by stopping the pass and by getting just enough passing yards to win.  Even a damaged Peyton Manning was good enough to accumulate necessary passing yards.  The Broncos did not run early and often.  They did not run on first down, run on second down and then pass conservatively on third down.  The metrics actually show that passing on first and second down and on third and less than five is the better percentage play, while running becomes the better option only on third and six to 12 yards.  And, for that matter, going for it on fourth down and less than 4 when outside your own 30 yard line is the  better statistical move (as is going for it on 4th and less than 4 when in field goal range).

Certainly, going against the traditional methods will occasionally cost a team a win, but in rebuttal, going against tradition will allow teams to win games they would have lost by using the old playbook tendencies.  And, the ignorant media will run a coach out of town on a rail for going against tradition and losing while never complimenting the coach that bucks the system and wins.  Hey, they are in the business, because they didn’t do so well in math class.

This Week’s Ratings

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
N. Y. Jets 103.9 101.6 105.1 103.5 62 42
New England 101.4 99.3 101.8 100.8 60 41
Buffalo 98.6 99.5 98.7 98.9 59 40
Miami 96.1 96.9 96.1 96.3 58 38
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Cincinnati 106.9 106.3 107.8 107.0 64 43
Pittsburgh 105.9 105.5 107.2 106.2 65 41
Baltimore 98.7 100.9 98.4 99.3 61 38
Cleveland 89.9 90.9 89.3 90.0 57 33
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Houston 101.8 103.0 102.1 102.3 64 38
Indianapolis 97.1 98.9 96.0 97.3 61 36
Jacksonville 95.1 96.9 94.4 95.5 58 38
Tennessee 93.9 95.9 93.4 94.4 54 40
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Denver 106.4 103.1 106.5 105.3 62 43
Kansas City 101.8 101.5 102.5 101.9 63 39
San Diego 99.9 100.9 99.7 100.2 64 36
Oakland 97.7 98.4 97.6 97.9 63 35
             
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Philadelphia 101.0 98.0 100.4 99.8 62 38
N.Y. Giants 99.0 98.3 98.7 98.7 62 37
Washington 97.3 98.1 97.0 97.5 61 37
Dallas 94.6 94.9 94.1 94.5 56 39
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Green Bay 104.4 103.7 104.4 104.2 64 40
Minnesota 102.9 101.9 103.4 102.7 60 43
Detroit 99.2 99.0 98.8 99.0 62 37
Chicago 95.4 93.3 95.1 94.6 56 39
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Carolina 109.4 108.2 110.3 109.3 65 44
New Orleans 99.1 101.5 98.4 99.7 64 36
Atlanta 96.9 99.8 96.8 97.8 62 36
Tampa Bay 95.9 96.8 95.1 95.9 59 37
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Arizona 110.0 107.5 110.9 109.5 69 41
Seattle 106.4 103.3 107.1 105.6 63 43
Los Angeles 97.9 99.4 97.4 98.3 56 42
San Francisco 95.6 96.8 95.7 96.0 56 40

 

This Week’s PiRate Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Score
New England Houston 2.6 -0.7 2.7 23-21
Buffalo Arizona -7.9 -4.5 -8.7 20-27
Carolina Minnesota 9.5 9.3 9.9 24-14
Cincinnati Denver 3.5 6.2 4.3 21-16
Green Bay Detroit 7.7 7.2 8.1 28-20
Jacksonville Baltimore -0.6 -1.0 -1.0 20-21
Miami Cleveland 9.2 9.0 9.8 26-17
New York Giants Washington 4.2 2.7 4.5 27-23
Tennessee Oakland -0.8 0.5 -1.2 20-21
Seattle San Francisco 13.8 9.5 14.4 23-10
Tampa Bay Los Angeles 1.5 0.9 1.2 17-16
Indianapolis San Diego 0.2 1.0 -0.7 28-27
Kansas City New York Jets 0.9 2.9 0.4 24-23
Philadelphia Pittsburgh -2.9 -5.5 -4.8 23-27
Dallas Chicago 2.2 4.6 2.0 20-17
New Orleans Atlanta 5.2 4.7 4.6 31-26

 

September 5, 2011

The Pi-Rate NFL QB Rating

The PiRate NFL Pass Rating Formula

The National Football League has been using the same pass rating formula for multiple decades.  It uses a combination of completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns, and interceptions.  If you want to calculate it on your own, here it is:

I.     (Completion Percentage-30.0) * 0.05 +

II.    (Yards per attempt-3.0) * 0.25 +

III.   (20 * touchdowns per pass attempt) +

IV.   2.375 – (25 * interceptions per pass attempt)

If any of these four components are greater than 2.375, then cap the value at 2.375

Add these four stats together and multiple them by 16.667 to get the passer rating.  Here is an example:

In 1963, Y. A. Tittle had these stats for the New York Giants

Completions 221  Attempts 367  Yards 3145  Touchdowns 36  Interceptions 14

I.     (60.20 – 30.0) * 0.05 = 1.51  +

II.    (8.57-3.0) * 0.25 = 1.39        +

III.   (20 * .098) = 1.96                +

IV.   2.375 – (25 * .038) = 1.43    +

 Subtotal = 6.29     6.29 * 16.667 =

                     104.8

 

Once you know this formula, you can easily plug it into a spreadsheet and figure the ratings.  However, these ratings are a poor way to select the most efficient passer.

Let’s take a look at two opposing passers, Smith and Jones.

Smith completes 15 of 24 passes for 3 touchdowns with no interceptions.

Jones completes 10 of 24 passes for 0 touchdowns and 1 interception.

Smith is obviously much better, correct?  No, not correct.  It depends on several other things.  What if Jones has a lousy offensive line or receivers that drop every other pass thrown to them?  What if Smith has all day to pass with Jerry Rice-type receivers?  All these stats show us are just that—their stats.

Smith could have completed six passes to backs behind the line of scrimmage with the backs following blocking for long gains.  Jones could have threaded the needle with 30 yard passes to the deep sidelines only to have had them dropped by inept receivers.

In essence no pass-rating formula is worth a grain of salt.  Let’s look at two separate plays.  Passer A completes 13-yard pass for a touchdown.  It is a dump pass into the flat to the tailback with the tailback avoiding three defenders as he streaks into the end zone.  This one pass gets the NFL Maximum rating of 158.3.

Now, let’s look at Passer B.  His team is backed up at their own 1 yard line. He drops back and fires a bomb 55 yards through the air that comes down perfectly in the hands of his flanker.  The flanker takes off down the sideline and is knocked out just one yard from scoring.  This 98-yard pass gives Passer B a rating of 118.8!  Peyton Manning actually had a better total season rating than this a couple years ago, and even though he ranks among the best ever, he was not worth a 98-yard completion every time he threw the ball!

Can this be?  You betcha!  The rating is flawed.  Obviously the brilliantly thrown pass that travelled 55 yards past the line of scrimmage that comes down perfectly in the hands of the intended receiver should be worth a lot more than the dump pass that I could complete given two seconds protection.

Here is where the PiRate Pass Rating Formula tries to correct the incorrect values of the NFL Pass Rating Formula.

Our formula looks at just two statistics.  The first is interception percentage.  An intercepted pass is worth anywhere from 3 to 7 points for the other team on average.  We realize that all interceptions are not the same.  A poorly thrown pass into the flat at the offense’s 20-yard line hurts much more than a 3rd and 25 pass thrown 40 yards downfield and intercepted by the defense. 

The second stat is called “Air Yards Per Attempt,” or AYPA.  It is simply the passing yardage minus the yards after catch.  If Passer A completed a 51-yard pass for a touchdown, but the play consisted of a pass completed to a tailback one yard past the line of scrimmage with the back running for 50 yards, the passer gets credit for an AYPA of 1 yard (51 yard pass – 50 yards after the catch).

Here is the PiRate Pass Rating Formula:

[AYPA * 7 – (11 * Interception %) + 105] * 0.8

 

Interception percentage is figured as: (Interceptions/Attempts) *100

Anything over 100 is an excellent rating.  Over 90 means the QB is above average.  80 would be considered average; below 80 means this QB should be looking over his shoulder for a replacement to take his job.

In our passer rating, we don’t include passing percentage or touchdown passes.  Yards gained are what matters.  Three consecutive completed passes that gain a total of nine yards means 4th & 1.  Two incomplete passes followed by an 11 yard completion means 1st & 10.  Which outcome is better?

Touchdowns skew the ratings.  If one coach sends in passing plays at the opponents’ one yard line, while another sends his 240-pound power back to plunge over the goal, the quarterbacks will get too much credit in once instance and no credit in the other. 

Let’s take a look at the PiRate Rating in action.  First, you must be wondering where can you find AYPA?  There is an excellent website that carries this stat, so you don’t have to try to figure out the YAC for each QB.  Go to: www.advancednflstats.com

Here is a look at both ratings side-by-side from 2009:

Player

PiRate QB Rating

 

Player

Official NFL Rating

Aaron Rodgers

108.9

|||

Drew Brees

109.6

Drew Brees

107.5

|||

Brett Favre

107.2

Brett Favre

106.7

|||

Phil Rivers

104.4

Tony Romo

105.6

|||

Aaron Rodgers

103.2

Phil Rivers

104.8

|||

Ben Roethlisberger

100.5

Ben Roethlisberger

97.9

|||

Peyton Manning

99.9

Matt Schaub

97.8

|||

Matt Schaub

98.6

Peyton Manning

97.2

|||

Tony Romo

97.6

Donovan McNabb

96.3

|||

Tom Brady

96.2

David Garrard

96.1

|||

Kurt Warner

93.2

Kyle Orton

94.7

|||

Eli Manning

93.1

Brad Gradkowski

94.4

|||

Donovan McNabb

92.9

Tom Brady

93.8

|||

Joe Flacco

88.9

Kurt Warner

93.4

|||

Kyle Orton

86.8

Eli Manning

92.8

|||

Jason Campbell

86.4

Vince Young

92.1

|||

Carson Palmer

83.6

Joe Flacco

87.7

|||

David Garrard

83.5

Marc Bulger

86.7

|||

Vince Young

82.8

Jason Campbell

85.4

|||

Alex Smith

81.5

Matt Ryan

83.0

|||

Matt Ryan

80.9

Carson Palmer

81.7

|||

Brad Gradkowski

80.6

Chad Henne

80.8

|||

Jay Cutler

76.8

Alex Smith

79.7

|||

Chad Henne

75.2

Brady Quinn

78.4

|||

Matt Hasselbeck

75.1

Matt Hasselbeck

75.7

|||

Trent Edwards

73.8

Matt Cassel

75.7

|||

Marc Bulger

70.7

Kerry Collins

72.1

|||

Matt Cassel

69.9

Trent Edwards

69.9

|||

Ryan Fitzpatrick

69.7

Kyle Boller

69.1

|||

Brady Quinn

67.2

Jay Cutler

67.3

|||

Kerry Collins

65.5

Ryan Fitzpatrick

64.3

|||

Mark Sanchez

63.0

Mark Sanchez

60.9

|||

Kyle Boller

61.2

JaMarcus Russell

56.4

|||

Matt Stafford

61.0

Matt Stafford

54.1

|||

Josh Freeman

59.8

Jake Delhomme

51.5

|||

Jake Delhomme

59.4

Josh Freeman

46.4

|||

JaMarcus Russell

50.0

Derek Anderson

46.3

|||

Derek Anderson

42.1

Coming Later This Week: We reveal the initial NFL PiRate, Mean, and Bias ratings for the 2011 season and give our predictions for each division.

August 25, 2010

Introducing the PiRate NFL Pass Rating Formula

Introducing the PiRate NFL Pass Rating Formula

 

The National Football League has been using the same pass rating formula for multiple decades.  It uses a combination of completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns, and interceptions.  If you want to calculate it on your own, here it is:

 

I.     (Completion Percentage-30.0) * 0.05 +

II.    (Yards per attempt-3.0) * 0.25 +

III.   (20 * touchdowns per pass attempt) +

IV.   2.375 – (25 * interceptions per pass attempt)

 

If any of these four components are greater than 2.375, then cap the value at 2.375

 

Add these four stats together and multiple them by 16.667 to get the passer rating.  Here is an example:

 

In 1963, Y. A. Tittle had these stats for the New York Giants

Completions 221  Attempts 367  Yards 3145  Touchdowns 36  Interceptions 14

 

I.     (60.20 – 30.0) * 0.05 = 1.51  +

II.    (8.57-3.0) * 0.25 = 1.39        +

III.   (20 * .098) = 1.96                +

IV.   2.375 – (25 * .038) = 1.43    +

 

 Subtotal = 6.29     6.29 * 16.667 =

                     104.8

 

Once you know this formula, you can easily plug it into a spreadsheet and figure the ratings.  However, these ratings are a poor way to select the most efficient passer.

 

Let’s take a look at two opposing passers, Smith and Jones.

 

Smith completes 15 of 24 passes for 3 touchdowns with no interceptions.

 

Jones completes 10 of 24 passes for 0 touchdowns and 1 interception.

 

Smith is obviously much better, correct?  No, not correct.  It depends on several other things.  What if Jones has a lousy offensive line or receivers that drop every other pass thrown to them?  What if Smith has all day to pass with Jerry Rice-type receivers?  All these stats show us are just that—their stats.

 

Smith could have completed six passes to backs behind the line of scrimmage with the backs following blocking for long gains.  Jones could have threaded the needle with 30 yard passes to the deep sidelines only to have had them dropped by inept receivers.

 

In essence no pass-rating formula is worth a grain of salt.  Let’s look at two separate plays.  Passer A completes 13-yard pass for a touchdown.  It is a dump pass into the flat to the tailback with the tailback avoiding three defenders as he streaks into the end zone.  This one pass gets the NFL Maximum rating of 158.3.

 

Now, let’s look at Passer B.  His team is backed up at their own 1 yard line. He drops back and fires a bomb 55 yards through the air that comes down perfectly in the hands of his flanker.  The flanker takes off down the sideline and is knocked out just one yard from scoring.  This 98-yard pass gives Passer B a rating of 118.8!  Peyton Manning actually had a better total season rating than this a couple years ago, and even though he ranks among the best ever, he was not worth a 98-yard completion every time he threw the ball!

 

Can this be?  You betcha!  The rating is flawed.  Obviously the brilliantly thrown pass that travelled 55 yards past the line of scrimmage that comes down perfectly in the hands of the intended receiver should be worth a lot more than the dump pass that I could complete given two seconds protection.

 

Here is where the PiRate Pass Rating Formula tries to correct the incorrect values of the NFL Pass Rating Formula.

 

Our formula looks at just two statistics.  The first is interception percentage.  An intercepted pass is worth anywhere from 3 to 7 points for the other team on average.  We realize that all interceptions are not the same.  A poorly thrown pass into the flat at the offense’s 20-yard line hurts much more than a 3rd and 25 pass thrown 40 yards downfield and intercepted by the defense. 

 

The second stat is called “Air Yards Per Attempt,” or AYPA.  It is simply the passing yardage minus the yards after catch.  If Passer A completed a 51-yard pass for a touchdown, but the play consisted of a pass completed to a tailback one yard past the line of scrimmage with the back running for 50 yards, the passer gets credit for an AYPA of 1 yard (51 yard pass – 50 yards after the catch).

 

Here is the PiRate Pass Rating Formula:

[AYPA * 7 – (11 * Interception %) + 105] * 0.8

 Interception percentage is figured as: (Interceptions/Attempts) *100

 Anything over 100 is an excellent rating.  Over 90 means the QB is above average.  80 would be considered average; below 80 means this QB should be looking over his shoulder for a replacement to take his job.

 In our passer rating, we don’t include passing percentage or touchdown passes.  Yards gained are what matters.  Three consecutive completed passes that gain a total of nine yards means 4th & 1.  Two incomplete passes followed by an 11 yard completion means 1st & 10.  Which outcome is better?

 Touchdowns skew the ratings.  If one coach sends in passing plays at the opponents’ one yard line, while another sends his 240-pound power back to plunge over the goal, the quarterbacks will get too much credit in once instance and no credit in the other. 

 Let’s take a look at the PiRate Rating in action.  First, you must be wondering where can you find AYPA?  There is an excellent website that carries this stat, so you don’t have to try to figure out the YAC for each QB.  Go to: www.advancednflstats.com

 Here is a look at both ratings side-by-side:

Player

PiRate QB Rating

 

Player

Official NFL Rating

Aaron Rodgers

108.9

|||

Drew Brees

109.6

Drew Brees

107.5

|||

Brett Favre

107.2

Brett Favre

106.7

|||

Phil Rivers

104.4

Tony Romo

105.6

|||

Aaron Rodgers

103.2

Phil Rivers

104.8

|||

Ben Roethlisberger

100.5

Ben Roethlisberger

97.9

|||

Peyton Manning

99.9

Matt Schaub

97.8

|||

Matt Schaub

98.6

Peyton Manning

97.2

|||

Tony Romo

97.6

Donovan McNabb

96.3

|||

Tom Brady

96.2

David Garrard

96.1

|||

Kurt Warner

93.2

Kyle Orton

94.7

|||

Eli Manning

93.1

Brad Gradkowski

94.4

|||

Donovan McNabb

92.9

Tom Brady

93.8

|||

Joe Flacco

88.9

Kurt Warner

93.4

|||

Kyle Orton

86.8

Eli Manning

92.8

|||

Jason Campbell

86.4

Vince Young

92.1

|||

Carson Palmer

83.6

Joe Flacco

87.7

|||

David Garrard

83.5

Marc Bulger

86.7

|||

Vince Young

82.8

Jason Campbell

85.4

|||

Alex Smith

81.5

Matt Ryan

83.0

|||

Matt Ryan

80.9

Carson Palmer

81.7

|||

Brad Gradkowski

80.6

Chad Henne

80.8

|||

Jay Cutler

76.8

Alex Smith

79.7

|||

Chad Henne

75.2

Brady Quinn

78.4

|||

Matt Hasselbeck

75.1

Matt Hasselbeck

75.7

|||

Trent Edwards

73.8

Matt Cassel

75.7

|||

Marc Bulger

70.7

Kerry Collins

72.1

|||

Matt Cassel

69.9

Trent Edwards

69.9

|||

Ryan Fitzpatrick

69.7

Kyle Boller

69.1

|||

Brady Quinn

67.2

Jay Cutler

67.3

|||

Kerry Collins

65.5

Ryan Fitzpatrick

64.3

|||

Mark Sanchez

63.0

Mark Sanchez

60.9

|||

Kyle Boller

61.2

JaMarcus Russell

56.4

|||

Matt Stafford

61.0

Matt Stafford

54.1

|||

Josh Freeman

59.8

Jake Delhomme

51.5

|||

Jake Delhomme

59.4

Josh Freeman

46.4

|||

JaMarcus Russell

50.0

Derek Anderson

46.3

|||

Derek Anderson

42.1

 

Coming tomorrow: We reveal the initial NFL PiRate, Mean, and Bias ratings for the 2010 season and give our predictions for each division.

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