Points Per Pass Metric, Results Through Week Nine

My passing offense metric, updated with last week's results. See below an explanation of the statistical details:  It's the same text I've posted in previous weeks.  The only difference is the minimum cutoff for making the list is 90 pass attempts.

The list continues to pack in tighter towards the historical mean value of 0.35, although the cream is clearly rising to the top.  Romo's game vaulted him past not only McNabb, but also Favre into fifth place.  Good call by Terry on that one.  I was genuinely concerned, based on the history and recent trends, that the Eagles defense would give Romo problems, but I am happy to admit I was wrong.  The offensive line gave Romo time, and when blitzes came, Romo was able to ad lib for big gains (the two screen passes in the flat to Barber, the quick pass to Owens for the TD).  When an offense can hold up against stunts and blitzes, and when the QB can recognize, react and get the ball to skill players while in stride, blitzes start to become a major liability, and we saw Jim Johnson's defense get embarrassed as a result.  And contrary to the historical predictions, Romo continues to improve over last year's performance.  I don't doubt in a few years that people will say Jerry Jones was able to sign him at a bargain price.

After week four, Drew Brees was an atrocious 0.12.  After last week's rout against Jacksonville, he's moved above the league average.  Not to pat myself on the back too much, but I predicted that several weeks ago.

Also, Delhomme dropped out of the top ten from last week, as he no longer has enough attempts to qualify.

I can't wait for this week's game against the Giants.  Anybody else noticed how mediocre Eli Manning's number is?  And the fact that we'll have a much healthier defense more familiar with the system this time around?  That, coupled with the fact the Giants have gone 0-3 during week nine under Coughlin, is why I'm feeling so good about this game.  His teams have always gotten off to fast starts, then faded down the stretch.  It's happened like clockwork the last three years, and the fade usually starts in week nine.  The Cowboys have had trouble in the Meadowlands in the past, but can the Giants beat the Cowboys to win their seventh straight game, the way Dallas is playing right now?  If we avoid turnovers, it's pretty clear to me the answer is 'no'.

Is it Sunday yet?

Here's the intro I've posted on previous weeks:

I've been using a passing offense metric for many years now to gauge how well a QB is doing.  Inspired by baseball SABRmetrician Bill James, I performed linear regressions of NFL statistics and concluded from a big picture point of view, only two statistics mattered:  Yards gained from scrimmage, and turnovers.  The best fit to matching points scored came when assuming the following coefficients:

Ten yards gained from scrimmage = +1.0 points; and
One turnover lost = -6.0 points.

Simply put, teams that score points rack up yardage and don't commit turnovers.  Note how powerful turnovers are:  A team can, for example, gain 55 yards of offense, but if they turn it over the next play, they actually ended up hurting their team.

With that in mind, I created the points per pass metric, which calculates the effectiveness of quarterbacks.  The above two coefficients are used to determine, on average, how many points a quarterback (and his offensive teammates, since everyone else contributes to his success or failure) creates with each passing attempt.  It takes the simple yards per attempt metric we're all familiar with, adjusts it for sacks, and further adjusts it for turnovers.  One interception equates to minus six points; one fumble equates to minus three points.  I treat fumbles as half a turnover, since there's essentially a 50/50 chance of recovering or losing a fumble.  The results will probably be unsurprising for the most part, but sometimes they can appear odd.  One of the things that may cause these oddities are fumbles.  Most people, when looking over a QB's stat line, don't think about fumbles; they just look at yardage, attempts, touchdowns, interceptions, and maybe sacks.  But fumbles are very important, since they are essentially half a turnover.

Brady, NE                                       0.73
Manning, Ind                                  0.62
Garrard, Jax                                    0.61
Garcia, TB                                       0.60
Romo, Dal                                       0.56
Favre, GB                                        0.55
Anderson, Cle                                 0.53
Roethlisberger, Pit                          0.49
Palmer, Cin                                     0.49
McNabb, Phi                                    0.48
Hasselbeck, Sea                             0.48
Harrington, Atl                                0.45
Kitna, Det                                       0.43
Brees, NO                                       0.43
Cutler, Den                                     0.42
Schaub, Hou                                   0.41
Warner, Ari                                     0.39
Boller, Bal                                       0.38
Pennington, NYJ                              0.36
Rivers, SD                                       0.34
Huard, KC                                       0.34
Manning, NYG                                 0.34
Leinart, Ari                                      0.33
Campbell, Was                               0.33
Green, Mia                                      0.31
Edwards, Buf                                  0.30
McNair, Bal                                      0.29
Lemon, Mia                                     0.28
Bulger, StL                                      0.27
Griese, Chi                                      0.26
Clements, NYJ                                 0.25
Jackson, Min                                   0.25
Carr, Car                                        0.21
Culpepper, Oak                              0.21
Smith, SF                                        0.19
Young, Ten                                     0.13
McCown, Oak                                -0.09
Dilfer, SF                                        -0.11

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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