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League's Top Quarterbacks

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Nothing gets people up in arms like rating and ranking Quarterbacks, but it's the season for generating discussion (controversy). I'll give a total stat and 3 rate stats over the past 3 seasons combined. DYAR and DVOA of course, ANPY/A for those that want a stat they can both calculate themselves and get a result that has obvious meaning, finally I'll give the statistical Frankenstein that gained widespread acceptance, QB Rating.

Every QB with with 100+ passes in any of the last 3 years was included, but only seasons with 10+ passes were included (since FO doesn't give DVOA or DYAR numbers for QBs with less than 10 passes thrown). DYAR is totaled up, the 3 rate stats are an average of the 3 seasons, weighted by attempts.

Top 25, 2006-2008 Total DYAR

QB DYAR DVOA ANPY/A QB Rating
Peyton Manning 5936 42.6% 6.84 98.0
Drew Brees 4593 25.3% 6.58 93.8
Tom Brady 3811 37.9% 6.90 103.2
Philip Rivers 2977 20.3% 6.31 93.5
Tony Romo 2869 22.3% 6.47 94.7
Carson Palmer 2460 18.1% 5.73 87.9
Donovan McNabb 2364 13.7% 6.14 89.7
Jay Cutler 2339 17.1% 5.97 87.1
Brett Favre 2178 7.8% 5.34 82.7
Kurt Warner 2177 14.5% 6.10 93.2
Chad Pennington 2053 13.4% 5.63 89.1
David Garrard 2017 15.3% 5.63 87.5
Ben Roethlisberger 1649 6.7% 5.08 85.7
Jeff Garcia 1618 15.4% 6.42 93.0
Eli Manning 1481 3.0% 4.82 78.9
Matt Schaub 1339 17.1% 6.12 89.6
Jake Delhomme 1307 9.2% 5.82 86.2
Jason Campbell 1229 5.2% 5.12 80.4
Matt Ryan 1166 30.9% 6.65 87.7
Aaron Rodgers 963 13.7% 6.03 93.2
Sage Rosenfels 941 18.4% 5.28 84.3
Marc Bulger 740 -3.7% 4.81 80.1
Derek Anderson 689 0.5% 4.97 75.2
Jon Kitna 681 -3.5% 4.67 79.6
Kerry Collins 680 5.9% 5.26 74.3

 

DYAR is the only counting stat, measure of total production, as opposed to per play production, in the bunch. Peyton runs away with the top spot with Brees comfortably at second, ahead of Brady. However Brady's placement at 3rd is very impressive considering he threw just 11 passes in 2008. At the rate Brady accumulated DYAR over 2006 and 2007 a healthy 2008 would have put him above 5,600 DYAR, well clear of Brees, but still trailing Peyton. Chad Pennington, Jeff Garcia and Sage Rosenfels get love not usually shown, as productive, useful QBs.

Top 10 DVOA

QB Att DVOA
Peyton Manning 1627 42.6%
Tom Brady 1105 37.9%
Todd Collins 105 31.6%
Matt Ryan 434 30.9%
Drew Brees 1841 25.3%
Tony Romo 1307 22.3%
Quinn Gray 166 21.7%
Phillip Rivers 1398 20.3%
Sage Rosenfels 453 18.4%
Carson Palmer 1224 18.1%

 

DVOA is a rate stat so I included attempts (for all 3 rate stats) to make it easier to pick out small sample size and diminishing returns. Peyton dominates the list with the top DVOA, while having the 2nd most attempts of the top 10, and 4th most of the 3 year span. Todd Collins is a surprise, but you'll be seeing him high up on all the rate stats thanks to a excellent performance in a sample just large enough to hit the cutoff. In his 105 attempts, following Jason Campbell suffering a knee injury, Collins averaged 8.9 yards per attempt, 13.3 yards per completion with 63.8% comp, 5 TDs and no picks, leading the Redskins to the playoffs. Collins' hot streak ended in the playoffs and he returned to the Redskins as a well paid backup. Rosenfels is a surprise appearance in a decently sized sample. It's the D in DVOA that loves Rosenfels giving him positive bumps in 06 and 08, and a defensive adjustment in 07 that more than doubled his DVOA. Rosenfels seems to have had bad luck, being called upon to replace an injured Matt Schaub against the Texans hardest opponents.

Top 10 QB Rating

QB Att QB Rating
Todd Collins 105 106.4
Tom Brady 1105 103.2
Peyton Manning 1627 98.0
Tony Romo 1307 94.7
Drew Brees 1841 93.8
Phillip Rivers 1398 93.5
Kurt Warner 1217 93.2
Aaron Rodgers 579 93.2
Jeff Garcia 891 93.0
Luke McCown 139 91.7

 

QB Rating has some stranger small sample size effects. Putting Todd Collins atop the rankings and including a McCown brother in the top 10. Without opponent adjustments Tom Brady passes Peyton in efficiency. Aaron Rodgers and Jeff Garcia get unexpected top 10 placement.

ANY/A

QB Att ANY/A
Todd Collins 105 7.96
Tom Brady 1105 6.90
Peyton Manning 1627 6.84
Matt Ryan 434 6.65
Drew Brees 1841 6.58
Tony Romo 1307 6.47
Jeff Garcia 891 6.42
Philip Rivers 1398 6.31
Donovan McNabb 1360 6.14
Matt Schaub 696 6.12

 

McNabb and Schaub make their first appearances in the rate stat top 10s and again the non-opponent adjusted rate stat puts Todd Collins on top and Brady over Manning, but by smaller margin. So what does that say about the state of Manning-Brady? Right now not too much since it is really apples to oranges. It's 3 seasons vs 2. Just comparing 06-07 averages we get a slightly wider DVOA gap, the QB Rating gap shrinks a bit and Peyton overtakes Brady in ANY/A. Why is that? Because Peyton Manning won his 3rd MVP in what is a down year for him. All 3 of the rate stats place it as Peyton's worst of the last 5 years. It was done with little running game and on a bad knee, but it wasn't an especially productive or efficient season by Peyton's lofty standards.

In part two (in progress) I'll look at using the last 3 years to project forward.