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Passer Rating Differential and Winning in 2013

During the last 2 offseasons, OCC has written a few articles on passer rating differential, and the correlation to winning. Last year, he gave us one entitled "Cowboys Top Offseason Priority: Fixing Passer Rating Differential", and in 2012 he wrote, "Cowboys Key To Success in 2012 Is Improved Passer Rating Differential." In both cases, he clearly makes the case that Passer Rating Differential more closely correlated with winning than any other single statistic (other than points differential, of course). The below charts from the 2012 and 2013 articles show the correlation to winning of various stats:

2011

2012

Stat

Stat

Points Differential

0.85

Points Differential

0.84

Passer Rating Differential

0.8

Passer Rating Differential

0.65

Not Given

ANY/A* Differential

0.65

Net DSR*

0.64

Points For

0.59

Points For

0.64

Passer Rating Offense

0.62

Passer Rating Offense

0.53

Points Against

0.31

Points Against

0.53

Not Given

NY/A* Differential

0.52

Y/A* Differential

0.46

Turnover Differential

0.45

Passer Rating Defense

0.31

Passer Rating Defense

0.29

Passing Yards OFF

0.34

Passing Yards Offense

0.06

Passing Yards DEF

0.08

Passing Yards Defense

0.01

I won’t try to explain correlation, except to say that the closer the number is to 1, the stronger the relationship to winning.

Without intending to steal his thunder, as I’m sure this will be the topic of another offseason article, I thought I’d take a look at Passer Rating Differential for the 2013 season while watching this afternoon’s games. This is mostly just going to be a presentation of stats. Simply, I had too much info not to share.

The below chart provides both Offensive and Defensive Passer Rating and Adjusted Net Yards/Attempt for every team in the league this year (stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference). I included ANY/A because it was easy to simultaneously pull, and there’s also a high correlation to winning. The chart is sorted by Passer Rating Differential, and playoff teams are highlighted in green.

2013 Season

Defense

Offense

Differential

Rk

Team

Rate

ANY/A

Rate

ANY/A

Rate

ANY/A

1

Seattle Seahawks

63.4

3.2

102.4

7.3

39

4.10

2

Denver Broncos

84.5

5.9

114.4

8.8

29.9

2.90

3

New Orleans Saints

83.6

5.3

104.5

7.5

20.9

2.20

4

Philadelphia Eagles

84

6.1

102.7

7.8

18.7

1.70

5

San Francisco 49ers

76.4

5

91.7

6.7

15.3

1.70

6

Cincinnati Bengals

74.2

4.4

89

6.3

14.8

1.90

7

Kansas City Chiefs

78.5

5.5

88.6

5.9

10.1

0.40

8

Chicago Bears

86.9

6.3

96.9

7.1

10

0.80

9

Pittsburgh Steelers

82.7

5.8

92.3

6.3

9.6

0.50

10

San Diego Chargers

96.4

7

105.5

7.8

9.1

0.80

11

Carolina Panthers

81.4

4.6

88.8

5.7

7.4

1.10

12

New England Patriots

81

5.6

87.3

6.1

6.3

0.50

13

Arizona Cardinals

80.2

5.1

83.9

5.7

3.7

0.60

14

Miami Dolphins

77.3

5.3

80.1

4.9

2.8

-0.40

15

Indianapolis Colts

84.6

6

86.5

6.1

1.9

0.10

16

Tennessee Titans

83.3

5.7

83.6

5.6

0.3

-0.10

17

Buffalo Bills

74.9

4.5

75

4.8

0.1

0.30

18

Dallas Cowboys

96

7

95.7

6.6

-0.3

-0.40

19

Detroit Lions

85

6.2

84.2

6.4

-0.8

0.20

20

Green Bay Packers

95.9

7

91.7

6.6

-4.2

-0.40

21

Cleveland Browns

84.1

5.4

75.7

5

-8.4

-0.40

22

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

88.9

5.9

79.6

4.8

-9.3

-1.10

23

St. Louis Rams

94.7

6.4

84.8

5.7

-9.9

-0.70

24

Baltimore Ravens

82.2

5.8

72

4.4

-10.2

-1.40

25

New York Giants

78.3

5.1

67.6

4.4

-10.7

-0.70

26

Atlanta Falcons

102.4

7.4

89.5

5.7

-12.9

-1.70

27

Houston Texans

93.9

6.6

74

4.7

-19.9

-1.90

28

New York Jets

86.5

6.2

66.6

4.2

-19.9

-2.00

29

Washington Redskins

96.1

6.8

76.1

5

-20

-1.80

30

Minnesota Vikings

98.6

7

76

5

-22.6

-2.00

31

Jacksonville Jaguars

96.5

7

71.8

4.4

-24.7

-2.60

32

Oakland Raiders

105.1

7.4

73.9

4.9

-31.2

-2.50

A couple of key things stand out:

  • Dallas finished 18th in the league, with a passer rating differential of -0.3. Their Offensive Passer Rating was 95.7, and they allowed opposing passers a rating of 96.

  • Of the top 12 teams in Passer Rating Differential, 10 made the playoffs and the other 2 finished 8-8.

  • Of those teams with top 10 draft picks (including Washington), all are in the bottom half in passer rating differential.

I was also curious how the Cowboys fared in passer rating differential on a week-to-week basis. Here’s a table that lays out game by game results (wins highlighted in green, losses in "red").

Passer Differential: Dallas Cowboys 2013

Opponent

Offense

Defense

Differential

G#

Opp

Result

Rate

AY/A

Rate

AY/A

Rate

AY/A

1

NYG

W 36-31

90.8

5.3

102.3

9.4

-11.5

-4.13

2

KAN

L 16-17

99.1

7.6

95.0

7.3

4.1

0.26

3

STL

W 31-7

137.2

11.3

80.2

5.4

57

5.83

4

SDG

L 21-30

108.6

7.7

120.3

9.9

-11.7

-2.17

5

DEN

L 48-51

140.0

15.6

129.6

10.7

10.4

4.89

6

WAS

W 31-16

72.9

4.8

58.3

5.2

14.6

-0.32

7

PHI

W 17-3

69.2

5.3

46.2

2.8

23

2.5

8

DET

L 30-31

102.9

8.9

91.3

8.7

11.6

0.16

9

MIN

W 27-23

90.1

6.5

82.7

5.7

7.4

0.81

10

NOR

L 17-49

72.9

6.2

139.0

11.5

-66.1

-5.34

11

NYG

W 24-21

84.8

6.0

92.9

7.1

-8.1

-1.1

12

OAK

W 31-24

101.7

7.7

73.6

7.0

28.1

0.66

13

CHI

L 28-45

109.2

8.2

141.9

11.9

-32.7

-3.69

14

GNB

L 36-37

80.0

6.4

113.1

8.6

-33.1

-2.14

15

WAS

W 24-23

98.7

8.2

71.2

4.8

27.5

3.41

16

PHI

L 22-24

85.2

6.7

124.4

11.7

-39.2

-4.95

Average

-1.17

-0.33

Average Win

17.25

0.96

Average Loss

-19.59

-1.62

A few more observations looking at this:

  • We had a passer rating above 90 ten times over the course of the season. We were 5-5 in those games.

  • Likewise, opposing QBs had a passer rating over 90 ten times, and we went 2-8 in those games.

  • Overall, we had a positive differential in 9 games, going 6-3 in those games (losses to DET, DEN, and KC). That tells us that we were 2-5 in games in which we had a negative differential (won both NYG games). In other words, in 11 of our 16 games (69%), the team that won Passer Rating Differential won the game.

We’ve established that Passer Rating Differential is highly correlated with winning. OCC has made the convincing case in each of the last 2 offseason that we needed to improve in this area, primarily by getting better on defense. In 2013, our passer rating differential was -0.3. What were those numbers in 2011 and 2012: 11.7 and -3.4. Apparently, what’s past is prologue.

Pass rushers anyone?

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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