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Are Passer Rating and QBR Obsolete?

hondo in seattle

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24 minutes ago, eball said:

The official “passer rating” stat is, in my opinion, obsolete.  It rewards statistical categories that taken by themselves can give the impression a QB played well and was instrumental in his team’s performance.  It is often misleading.  And in today’s pass-happy NFL almost every QB can post a gaudy rating.


I guess I would say this:  if a QB has a poor traditional rating then he probably sucks, but nobody needs that rating to see it.  If a QB has a very good rating (90+), however, it’s not necessarily indicative of a top-tier QB.


I don’t know enough about ESPN’s QBR but at least they are trying to incorporate how a QB’s play really impacts the game.


Any rating that says Rob Johnson was a better Bills QB than Jim Kelly was always worthless.

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2 hours ago, The Wiz said:

The reality is if anything QBR is a broken metric that was made up by ESPN to throw their own opinion around.  It's a subjective metric based on how "difficult" a throw is given a particular situation.  


I'd say passer rating is more accurate because it is all based on the stats, not "oh well he made a throw to a wide open receiver so it doesn't count as much".  At some point, personal bias has an influence.  Numbers don't lie.  


And @416BillsFan just proved my point.


Yet passer rating has his at #14 and QBR has him at #6...


And numbers don't lie? Mind clarifying that?

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An interesting comment from a good breakdown of our offense that Yolo posted:


"Through weeks 1-4, the Bills were in 11 personnel (one back, one tight end) or 10 personnel (one back, no tight ends) on 76 percent of their offensive snaps, a league-high...   The Bills were (and are) signaling everything. They know they’re throwing the ball. The defense knows they’re throwing the ball. And the Bills don’t care. Try to stop us."


This is kind of what I meant when I said the Bills have a QB-centric offense.  Despite defenses knowing the Bills are a Pass First & Second offense, the Allen-led Bills lead the league in scoring.  I say that qualifies Allen as a top five QB - certainly better than average.  




Edited by hondo in seattle
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3 hours ago, mattynh said:

 I think you are taking the #6/#14 a little too literal.  If you prefer to rank QB's based on team points scored per game or team points scored per play or something, go for it.  Not sure a lot of people will back that approach.  You say Allen scores points better than anyone, is that true?  I know the Bills are leading in points but what about the number of plays each player has had, compare to at bats in baseball.  There are things out of a QB's control that affects points too, such as their defense, if you have a crappy defense that gives up long time possession drives you might not score as much as a team with a lesser QB who has the best defense.   

Rating and QBR are not perfect and never have been but they are useful, just not the end all.  Those are based on stats.  Stats are affected by many things.   For instance, does QBR take into account that 3 of Allen's 5 games have been impacted by weather?  Even though the Bills are the highest scoring offense does not make them the best offense ( I think you disagree), they are further down in yards which was not true last year.  Do you think Allen's performance has been top 5?  I ask that to a fanatical Bills backer so I will guess the answer is yes.....but compare his performance this year to others around the league and it is reasonable to say others have been better so far.  Of coarse if you just point to the scoreboard there is no argument.  Allen was not good in week 1.  His completion % and yards per attempt are down.


It has never been true the team with the highest scoring offense has the highest rated (or top 5) passer, that is an unrealistic assumption.  r


The Bills had the highest scoring offense in 1975.  Fergie was the QB.  And I wouldn't expect Fergie to be rated as a Top 5 passer.  The RB, of course, was OJ and the Juice had a lot to do with the offense's production.


But this is different.  The 2021 Bills are built around Josh Allen and Josh is getting his team into the endzone.  Isn't that, ultimately, what a QB is supposed to do?  And, so far, no one has done it better.  


I'm no statistician and really don't know how to build a better rating system than Passer Rating or QBR.   But D.L. Hot-Flamethrower mentions ELO has Allen at #1.  Maybe they're looking at stats that better correlate to scoring.  GoBills808 notes that Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt (ANY/A) is the stat that best correlates to winning.  If true, then that stat should be the heart and soul of any QB ranking system.  

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1 hour ago, HappyDays said:

The problem is QBR and passer rating are efficiency metrics. They don't care about volume. 5/5 for 80 yards and a TD is not as good a stat line as 35/45 for 390 yards and 3 TDs 1 INT, but the lower volume for the first stat line skews the efficiency.


It's hard to create a QB statistic that mixes volume with efficiency. IMO Football Outsiders' DYAR is probably the best because it accounts for game situation and opponent, and gives the total value of the QB rather than the per-play value. In that metric Allen is ranked 13th as a passer and 6th as a rusher this year. He had two mediocre games to start the season and we're only 5 games in. If he continues his current level of play he'll find his way to the top of the statistical rankings.


In general QB performance is so hard to rank because it's the most context driven position on the team and we don't know what the QB is asked to do on any given play.


I remember when Dan Fouts was pretty regularly throwing for 300+ yards when that was still considered a big deal.  For a couple years, he was the most feared/dangerous QB in the NFL and his Passer Rating didn't necessarily reflect that.

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18 hours ago, billybrew1 said:

Josh really hasn't passed the eye test in a couple games this year. I think his QBR is about right. Josh's Offense has the #1 drive start in the NFL thanks to the defense (and some to McKenzie) .The Defense is making things awfully easy for Josh.


When Josh figures everything out, how teams are playing him now and how to beat that, his QBR will rise to the top. Until then, enjoy Josh @ #6 and the D @ #1.....

Rejoice! Defense has always won championships and it looks like we have a championship defense this year (so far.) 


Go Bills!

I disagree I think the lower completion percentage is ironically him playing smarter and us utilizing more runs with rbs than those very short extended handoff type passes.  He seems to be throwing the ball away a lot more when he's in trouble also..  Sure he's missed some throws but all the great ones do that and he def missed throws last year too.  We've also had about half our games in bad weather/high winds. He's the highest ranked qb by whatever metric fivethirtyeight sports uses...just edges out brady as the post above this one shows lol

Edited by Generic_Bills_Fan
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