FanPost

Points Per Pass Metric, Results Through Week 14

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 140 pass attempts.

Romo and Favre again switched positions this week, but are still interchangeable.  Peyton Manning's game against Jacksonville pushed him all the way up to sixth place, and Warner's five interceptions caused his his high value early in the season to tumble.

One of the things I'd like to do, if I had the time, is check the performance of QBs at certain venues.  One of the first I would look into would be Dallas QBs in Detroit.  I've called it our Temple of Doom, with bizarre losses there ever since the Lions moved indoors in 1976.  We've lost games there in 1981, 1985, 1987, 2001 and 2002 when we had significantly better teams than Detroit; and were blown out there twice in 1991 (including the divisional playoffs) when our record was about as good theirs'.  Before Sunday, we had won there three times since 1976, and all three were blowouts, with margins of victory of 24, 34 and 31 points.  Before Sunday, our road games against Detroit followed one of two distinct paths.  Either we jumped on the Lions with a couple of early scores, got them and the crowd discouraged, and cruised to an easy victory; or, as was usually the case, they won a tense nail-biter (the two 1991 games are in class by themselves, as the we were almost as good as them...so of course Detroit blew us out both times).  In particular, I recall time and again how crowd noise would lead to false starts...and to avoid the penalties, our offensive line was slow to get off the snap, which gave the Lions a strong pass rush...with sacks, fumbles and interceptions not far behind.  Yesterday was different.  Our defense fell to pieces, as it often does there, but the offense rallied and was able to largely avoid turnovers.

I have no idea why the Lions play like world beaters against us so often, but I've seen it so often that Sunday's game was almost expected.  The only thing that surprised me was the outcome, as we finally won a close one there, and now actually have a two game winning streak there.  Is the Curse of the Temple broken forever?  Let's hope so; nothing has been more frustrating for me over the years than to watch an inferior Detroit team beat us time after time.

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                                        0.72
Garrard, Jax                                    0.64
Garcia, TB                                       0.60
Favre, GB                                        0.56
Romo, Dal                                       0.55
Manning, Ind                                   0.52
Schaub, Hou                                   0.51
Hasselbeck, Sea                             0.49
Anderson, Cle                                 0.49
Cutler, Den                                     0.47
McNabb, Phi                                    0.46
Brees, NO                                       0.44
Palmer, Cin                                     0.43
Edwards, Buf                                  0.41
Harrington, Atl                                0.41
Roethlisberger, Pit                         0.40
Kitna, Det                                       0.38
Warner, Ari                                     0.37
Jackson, Min                                   0.37
Pennington, NYJ                              0.36
Campbell, Was                               0.35
Rivers, SD                                       0.32
Manning, NYG                                 0.31
Losman, Buf                                   0.31
Green, Mia                                      0.31
Culpepper, Oak                              0.30
Bulger, StL                                      0.29
Griese, Chi                                      0.28
Clements, NYJ                                0.28
Boller, Bal                                       0.27
Huard, KC                                       0.26
McNair, Bal                                      0.25
Testaverde, Car                              0.25
Grossman, Chi                                0.25
Lemon, Mia                                     0.24
Young, Ten                                     0.22
Smith, SF                                        0.18
Frerotte, StL                                   0.10
Dilfer, SF                                         0.01
McCown, Oak                                 0.00

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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