28 January 2011
QUARTERBACK RATING: A BOGUS STATISTIC James Joyner points to a thorough debunking of passer rating, the stat the NFL invented to try to quantify quarterback production by Mike Tanier. Joyner's comments illustrate the absurdity of referencing the stat:
I recall as a kid, 30-odd years ago, when Cowboys quarterback Danny White was in exactly the same position as Rodgers is now. Upon the 1500th attempt, he was the number one quarterback in NFL history, supplanting his predecessor, Roger Staubach. Nobody thought it was true. Within a few weeks, a kid named Joe Montana supplanted White and nobody believed that, either. Until a decade or so later, when they did.
Some of the greatest quarterbacks every –Stabubach, Unitas, Bradshaw — are blips on the QB ranking scale, ranking so far beyond today’s mediocre QBs that it’s not even funny. But quarterback is, alone among the so-called “skill positions,” unmeasurable by a single stat. People have a sense of who’s great and who’s not, but there really isn’t a widely used stat that works. Passer Rating is an index, but a complicated one that doesn’t really make any sense.
Keep all this in mind when Joe Buck and Troy Aikman gush about how great the two quarterbacks are on the field in Dallas next sunday.
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