Total quarterback rating (abbreviated as total QBR or simply QBR) is a proprietary statistic created by ESPN in 2011 to measure the performance of quarterbacks in American football. It incorporates all of a quarterback’s contributions to winning, including how he impacts the game on passes, rushes, turnovers, and penalties. Since QBR is built from the play level, it accounts for a team’s level of success or failure on every play to provide the proper context, then allocates credit to the quarterback and his teammates to produce a clearer measure of quarterback efficiency. It was created to be a more meaningful alternative to the passer rating but has been met with criticism among fans and commentators alike.
Total QBR was developed by a team at ESPN Stats & Information Group including Jeff Bennett, Dean Oliver, Alok Pattani, Albert Larcada, and Menlo College professor Ben Alamar. The group also received input from ESPN analysts Trent Dilfer, Jon Gruden, and Ron Jaworski. Total QBR was developed based on analysis of 60,000 NFL plays between 2008-2010, and was unveiled on August 5, 2011. The formula was modified in 2012 and again in 2013.
There are six steps to building QBR:
Raw QBR is calculated as the following:
where g() is a function that scales from 0-100, where 50 is average. Total QBR is the raw QBR adjusted for the strength of the opponent.
EPA is calculated based on the down, distance, and the yard line at snap, with each combination having its own point value. The point values are the average net point advantage the team on offense can expect given the particular down, distance, and field position. For example, a 1st and goal chance on the opponent's’ 1 yard line heavily favors the offense, yielding a positive point value. On the other hand, a 3rd and 9 on the team’s own 3 yard line is heavily negative because it drastically favors the opponent.
The value of each play’s outcome is measured by the snap-to-snap change in expected points. This is called Expected Points Added. The Expected Points Added (or lost) in each play are divided among the contributing players on the field based on the role of each player and the type of play. Deeper throws give a higher share of credit to the QB, while screen passes give relatively less credit to the QB and more to the receiver.
Plays that occur in “trash time” are discounted by as much as 30%. Trash time is measured based on the leverage of each play which is primarily a function of score, time, and field position. Important, critical plays that are likely to change the outcome have high leverage, while plays that occur after the game has largely been already decided have low leverage. QBR discounts low leverage plays, but does not boost credit for “clutch” plays.
After each play’s Expected Points Added is adjusted for difficulty, division of credit, and trash time, it is averaged on a per play basis. This average is further adjusted to account for the strength of opponent. Performance against a stronger defense that tends to allow low adjusted EPA per play is adjusted upwards while performance against a weaker defense is adjusted downwards. The degree of adjustment is in direct proportion to the strength of the opponent.
Lastly, the resulting adjusted EPA per play is transformed to a 0 to 100 scale, where 50 is average. The result can be thought of as a percentile. For example, a QBR of 80 means that the QB’s performance is better than 80% of the game performances by QB’s since 2006. A game QBR of 80 would also mean that, given that QB’s performance, his team would be expected to win that game on average 80% of the time.
QBR is a more complete and meaningful alternative to the passer rating, which remains the official NFL measure of quarterback performance. The calculation of the NFL passer rating is much simpler than the QBR, as it depends only on aggregate statistics rather than an analysis of each play a quarterback is involved in. However, this calculation is based on purely arbitrary coefficients, and is not based on how the game actually operates. Additionally, passer rating double counts completion percentage, favoring quarterbacks who tend to throw screens and other short passes. Passer rating is calculated using each quarterback's passing attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns and interceptions, and has a maximum value of 158.3 and minimum value of 0.
Passer rating ignores large parts of a quarterback’s performance. It ignores sacks, fumbles, designed runs and scrambles, which punishes mobile QB’s. It also does not put plays into its proper context. For example, a 5-yard gain on second-and-5 is very different from a 5-yard gain on third-and-10. Total QBR takes this into account with EPA. Passer rating treats all yards, whether they are air yards or yards after catch, as equally belonging to the QB.
Total QBR takes each individual play and measures the expected points added (EPA) for each play. Since every play situation is different, there is a different value for EPA in each case. A team can expect a 0.9 net-point advantage when it is 1st down and 10 yards to go on their own 20 yard line. For the next play, suppose the team passes the ball 8 yards to reach their own 28 yard line on 2nd down and 2. The offense can now expect a 1.4 net-point advantage. EPA is the difference in the expected points at the start and end of a play. In this case it is 1.4 - 0.9 = 0.5 EPA. In a way, the offense has added a half point in potential score based on this play. Similarly, if a team loses yardage on a play, their EPA in that situation would be negative.
Total QBR takes EPA and adjusts it based on the difficulty of the play. If a quarterback is under duress and avoids a sack to throw a 10-yard pass, Total QBR will reward the quarterback in those situations more than a 10-yard pass with lots of time to throw. In addition, it understands the differences of passes that went 40 yards: the quarterback is rewarded more for a 40-yard pass compared to a 10-yard pass where the receiver ran for an extra 30 yards.
There is a discount on trash time. A 40-yard pass as time expires (without scoring a touchdown or field goal) is much different from a 40-yard pass with enough time to score points.
Total QBR takes into account the level of difficulty the opponent team’s defense is based on the opponent's’ defensive FPI, among other factors.
Conceptualizing the detail Total QBR puts in can be explained through the 2015 NFC Wild Card game between the Green Bay Packers and the Washington Redskins. Aaron Rodgers of the Packers completed 21 of 36 passes for 210 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions, which computes to a 93.5 passer rating. Kirk Cousins of the Redskins completed 29 of 46 passes for 329 yards with 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions, computing a 91.7 passer rating. Observing these statistics, one is likely to conclude that Cousins had a better overall game than Rodgers. However, the Packers went on to win 35-18.
Traditional passer statistics omit the rest of the impact that these quarterbacks made. Cousins also took 6 sacks, had 3 fumbles (1 lost), and 2 pre-snap penalties on Washington’s offense. Rodgers, on the other hand, took only one sack, did not fumble, and drew a number of defensive penalties to keep drives alive. Rodgers manufactured five scoring drives, posting an 87 Total QBR. Cousins’ errors cost Washington the game, resulting in a Total QBR nearly 30 points lower.
Total QBR is a complex proprietary statistic that has led to questions on what values are being used and to what degree. The data obtained is from a video analyst tracking system instead of an eye test grading system, similar to a football scout.
Unlike the NFL passer rating, ESPN has not yet been forthcoming on the exact specific formulas and procedures to calculate QBR. The proprietary, complex methodology spans some 10,000 lines of code. In an interview with San Diego's XX Sports Radio, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers seemed baffled by the ratings, which put him ninth overall in its metrics for the 2010 season, saying "I still don't get it. I think it's more complicated now".
In an op-ed piece published by Deadspin, they opine that the clutch index component of the QBR "looks like a weirdly applied version of baseball's leverage metric and which, tellingly, is the sort of mindless branding you get when the network of 'Who's Now' starts dicking around with numbers.".
Further criticism of QBR was brought about when, before some tinkering with the equation of QBR, Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch had the greatest individual game ever evaluated by QBR. Batch threw for 186 yards with two interceptions in the game.
On the other side, noted football author and researcher Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats opined that QBR was superior to the traditional passer rating. The main advantages, in his opinion, are QBR's accounting for many more events in quarterback play than the old rating, and the fact that it avoids the double-counting that plagues the official NFL passer rating. He did however lament the proprietary nature of the statistic, and predicted it would not become widely used so long as its precise computation details were kept secret (i.e., it is unlikely that CBS, Fox, NBC, and other competing media outlets would want to heavily promote something that is proprietary to ESPN).
Further controversy erupted when the Total QBR system gave the Denver Broncos' Tim Tebow a higher rating than the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers in their respective Week 5 contests in 2011. Noting that Rodgers completed 26 of 39 passes for 396 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Atlanta Falcons, while Tebow completed four of 10 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown, and six rushes for 38 yards and a touchdown, in a loss to the San Diego Chargers. In a more recent example, a game played on September 24, 2017, Alex Smith of Kansas City Chiefs received an inexplicable QBR of 7.8, half as much as the equally-bad QBR of 16.1 for his counterpart Philip Rivers of the Los Angeles Chargers, even though Smith had a higher completion rate (16/21 vs. 20/40), a better average per completion (7.8 yds vs. 5.9), a far superior TD/int ratio (2-0 vs. 0-3), and won the game handily 24-10. For comparison, the RTG, 128.1 for Smith and 37.2 for Rivers, was by far a better metric of success. Mike Florio of Profootballtalk.com wrote that he'll "continue to ignore ESPN’s Total QBR stat." Rodgers himself was surprised: "I saw the [QBR stats] and chuckled to myself. I played a full game, [Tebow] played the half. He completed four passes, I completed 26. I think it incorporates QB runs as well ... The weighting of it doesn't make a whole lot of sense." ESPN's Stats and Information Group explained that Tebow's higher rating was the result of him staging a partial comeback, taking no sacks, and having positive rushing yards and a rushing touchdown, among other factors. However, Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports wrote that the QBR system lacks a minimum performance frequency floor that players must meet before they can be rated, and thus it essentially penalizes Rodgers because he played throughout the entire game, while rewarding Tebow because he came off the bench in the second half in an attempt to stage a comeback.
|1.||2007||Tom Brady||88.20||New England Patriots|
|2.||2006||Peyton Manning||87.50||Indianapolis Colts|
|3.||2011||Aaron Rodgers||85.50||Green Bay Packers|
|4.||2011||Drew Brees||84.30||New Orleans Saints|
|5.||2009||Drew Brees||84.20||New Orleans Saints|
|6.||2016||Matt Ryan||83.30||Atlanta Falcons|
|7.||2016||Tom Brady||83.00||New England Patriots|
|8.||2009||Peyton Manning||82.80||Indianapolis Colts|
|9.||2007||David Garrard||82.50||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|10.||2013||Peyton Manning||82.20||Denver Broncos|
|2006||Peyton Manning||87.50||Indianapolis Colts|
|2007||Tom Brady||88.20||New England Patriots|
|2008||Peyton Manning||78.00||Indianapolis Colts|
|2009||Drew Brees||84.20||New Orleans Saints|
|2010||Tom Brady||81.30||New England Patriots|
|2011||Aaron Rodgers||85.50||Green Bay Packers|
|2012||Peyton Manning||81.30||Denver Broncos|
|2013||Peyton Manning||82.20||Denver Broncos|
|2014||Tony Romo||81.50||Dallas Cowboys|
|2015||Carson Palmer||78.60||Arizona Cardinals|
|2016||Matt Ryan||83.30||Atlanta Falcons|
|2017||Carson Wentz||74.40||Philadelphia Eagles|
|2018||Patrick Mahomes||81.80||Kansas City Chiefs|
That's what ESPN has done ... keep it secret. No one can criticize a methodology they can't analyze.
The butt fumble was a notable American football play from a National Football League (NFL) game played on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2012, between the New York Jets and New England Patriots.
In front of the home crowd of 79,000 at MetLife Stadium and a primetime television audience of 20 million, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez collided with the rear end of his teammate Brandon Moore and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Patriots' Steve Gregory and returned for a touchdown. The play was the centerpiece of a disastrous sequence in the second quarter, as the Jets lost three fumbles and the Patriots scored three touchdowns—one each on offense, defense, and special teams—all in the span of 52 seconds of game time; in that quarter, the Jets held the ball for over 12 minutes (out of 15), but were outscored 35–3. The game and the so-called "butt fumble" in particular are remembered as the low point of the Jets' 2012 season. The butt fumble was ranked as the most embarrassing moment in Jets history by ESPN.Carson Palmer
Carson Hilton Palmer (born December 27, 1979) is a former American football quarterback who played 15 seasons in the National Football League (NFL) with the Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals. He played college football at USC and won the Heisman Trophy in 2002.
The first overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, Palmer was chosen by the Bengals, for whom he played eight seasons. During his tenure in Cincinnati, he helped lead the team to its first winning season and playoff appearance in 15 years and was named to two Pro Bowls. Amid declining success and conflicts with Bengals ownership, Palmer was traded to the Oakland Raiders, where he played for two seasons before joining Arizona via another trade.
With the Cardinals, Palmer continued his run of dependable but injury-plagued steadiness under center. He enjoyed his most successful year in 2015, aiding the Cardinals in their advancement to the NFC Championship game, and being named to his third Pro Bowl, in addition to being a second-team All-Pro. Palmer retired following the 2017 regular season after spending much of the league year on injured reserve.Christian Ponder
Christian Andrew Ponder (born February 25, 1988) is a former American football quarterback. He played for the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the 12th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and started the majority of games for them from 2011 to 2013. He played college football at Florida State University and was the Seminoles starting quarterback from 2008 to 2010.
Since December 2012, Ponder has been married to ESPN personality Samantha Ponder (formerly Steele).Conversion (gridiron football)
The conversion, try (American football, also known as a point(s) after touchdown, PAT, or extra point), or convert (Canadian football) occurs immediately after a touchdown during which the scoring team is allowed to attempt to score one extra point by kicking the ball through the uprights in the manner of a field goal, or two points by bringing the ball into the end zone in the manner of a touchdown.
Attempts at a try or convert are scrimmage plays, with the ball initially placed at any point between the hash marks, at the option of the team making the attempt. The yard line that attempts are made from depends on the league and the type of try or convert being attempted.
If the try or convert is scored by kicking the ball through the uprights, the team gets an additional one point for their touchdown, bringing their total for that score from six points to seven. If two points are needed or desired, a two-point conversion may be attempted by running or passing from scrimmage. A successful touchdown conversion from scrimmage brings the score's total to eight.
Whether a team goes for one or two points, most rules regarding scrimmage downs, including scoring touchdowns and field goals, apply as if it were a normal American fourth-down or Canadian third-down play. Exceptions, including cases where the defense forces a turnover during a conversion attempt, vary between leagues and levels of play. One thing that sets the try apart from other plays in the NFL is that, apart from the actual points, ordinary statistics are not recorded on the try as they would be on a regular scrimmage play. For example, on December 4, 2016, Eric Berry of the Kansas City Chiefs made an interception on a try and physically returned it 99 yards for a defensive two-point conversion. However, because it occurred on a try, Berry did not get statistical credit for the 99 yards of return yardage; nor would a player ever be credited with passing, rushing, or receiving yardage on a try.Cornerback
A cornerback (CB), also referred to as a corner or defensive halfback in older parlance, is a member of the defensive backfield or secondary in American and Canadian football. Cornerbacks cover receivers most of the time, to defend against offensive plays, i.e create turnovers in best case or (more common) deflect a forward pass or rather make a tackle. Other members of the defensive backfield include the safeties and occasionally linebackers. The cornerback position requires speed, agility, and strength. A cornerback's skillset typically requires proficiency in anticipating the quarterback, backpedaling, executing single and zone coverage, disrupting pass routes, block shedding, and tackling. Cornerbacks are among the fastest players on the field.Football Power Index
Football Power Index (abbreviated as FPI) is a predictive rating system developed by ESPN that measures team strength and uses it to forecast game and season results in American football. Each team’s FPI rating is composed of predictive offensive, defensive, and special teams value, as measured by a function of expected points added (EPA). That rating is the basis for FPI’s game-level and season-level projections.Fumble
A fumble in American and Canadian football occurs when a player who has possession and control of the ball loses it before being downed (tackled), scoring, or going out of bounds. By rule, it is any act other than passing, kicking, punting, or successful handing that results in loss of player possession. A fumble may be forced by a defensive player who either grabs or punches the ball or butts the ball with his helmet (a move called "tackling the ball"). A fumbled ball may be recovered and advanced by either team (except, in American football, after the two-minute warning in either half or 4th down, when the fumbling player is the only offensive player allowed to advance the ball, otherwise the ball is ruled dead at the spot of recovery if the ball bounces backwards or spotted at the point of the fumble if the ball travels forward). It is one of three events that can cause a turnover (the other two being an interception or on downs, though the latter does not count toward the team's total turnovers), where possession of the ball can change during play.
Under American rules a fumble may be confused with a muff. A muff occurs where a player drops a ball that he does not have possession of, such as while attempting to catch a lateral pass or improperly fielding a kicking play such as a punt (you cannot "fumble" a loose ball). Ball security is the ability of a player to maintain control over the football during play and thus avoid a fumble. Thus, losing possession of the ball via a fumble includes not only dropping the ball before being downed; but, also having a ball taken away, or “stripped” from the runner’s possession before being downed.Interception
In ball-playing competitive team sports, an interception or pick is a move by a player involving a pass of the ball—whether by foot or hand, depending on the rules of the sport—in which the ball is intended for a player of the same team but caught by a player of the opposing team, who thereby usually gains possession of the ball for their team. It is commonly seen in football, including American and Canadian football, as well as association football, rugby league, rugby union, Australian rules football and Gaelic football, as well as any sport by which a loose object is passed between players toward a goal.
In basketball, a pick is called a steal.Muffed punt
In gridiron football, a muffed punt is defined as "touching of the ball prior to possessing the ball.”
A muffed punt occurs when there is an "uncontrolled touch" of the football by a player on the returning team after it is punted. This can occur when:
The kicking team interferes with the other team's right to catch the punt
A player on the kicking team is struck unaware by the football running down-field to cover the punt.
A player attempts to return the ball, makes contact with it but cannot retain the ball in his hands and it comes loose.
To be a fumble, the receiving team must possess the football, then lose control. In the case of a fumble, the ball is live and can be returned by the team that recovers the ball. In the case of a muffed punt, it is possible for the punting team to recover the ball and continue the drive, but at least in NCAA and NFL rules, they cannot advance the ball on that same play. Rules vary by league about how to handle a muffed punt.
Nonetheless, a muffed punt is a turnover. In the NFL, a muffed punt recovered by the kicking team cannot be challenged by a coach for review because all turnovers are automatically reviewed.Passer rating
Passer rating (also known as quarterback rating, QB rating, or passing efficiency in college football) is a measure of the performance of passers, primarily quarterbacks, in American football and Canadian football. There are two formulae currently in use: one used by both the National Football League (NFL) and Canadian Football League (CFL), and the other used in NCAA football. Passer rating is calculated using a player's passing attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns, and interceptions. Since 1973, passer rating has been the official formula used by the NFL to determine its passing leader.
Passer rating in the NFL is on a scale from 0 to 158.3. Passing efficiency in college football is on a scale from −731.6 to 1261.6.Penalty (gridiron football)
In American football and Canadian football, a penalty is a sanction called against a team for a violation of the rules, called a foul. Officials initially signal penalties by tossing a bright yellow (American football) or orange (Canadian football) colored penalty flag onto the field toward or at the spot of a foul. Many penalties result in moving the football toward the offending team's end zone, usually either 5, 10, or 15 yards, depending on the penalty. Most penalties against the defensive team also result in giving the offense an automatic first down, while a few penalties against the offensive team cause them to automatically lose a down. In some cases, depending on the spot of the foul, the ball is moved half the distance to the goal line rather than the usual number of yards, or the defense scores an automatic safety.Punter (football)
A punter (P) in American or Canadian football is a special teams player who receives the snapped ball directly from the line of scrimmage and then punts (kicks) the football to the opposing team so as to limit any field position advantage. This generally happens on a fourth down in American football and a third down in Canadian football. Punters may also occasionally take part in fake punts in those same situations, when they throw or run the football instead of punting.QBR
QBR may refer to:
Total quarterback rating, an American football performance measurement
Quins-Bobbies Rugby Club, in South Africa
QBR: The Black Book Review, later merged into the Black Issues Book ReviewQuarterback
A quarterback (commonly abbreviated "QB"), colloquially known as the "signal caller", is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive team and line up directly behind the offensive line. In modern American football, the quarterback is usually considered the leader of the offensive team, and is often responsible for calling the play in the huddle. The quarterback also touches the ball on almost every offensive play, and is the offensive player that almost always throws forward passes.Quinton Flowers
Quinton Lenard Flowers (born December 2, 1994) is an American football running back for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at South Florida as a quarterback.Two-point conversion
In American and Canadian football, a two-point conversion or two-point convert is a play a team attempts instead of kicking a one-point conversion immediately after it scores a touchdown. In a two-point conversion attempt, the team that just scored must run a play from scrimmage close to the opponent's goal line (5-yard line in amateur Canadian, 3-yard line in professional Canadian, 3-yard line in amateur American, 2-yard line in professional American; in professional American football, there is a small dash to denote the line of scrimmage for a two-point conversion; it was the previous line of scrimmage for a point after kick until 2014) and advance the ball across the goal line in the same manner as if they were scoring a touchdown. If the team succeeds, it earns two additional points on top of the six points for the touchdown, for a total of eight points. If the team fails, no additional points are scored. In either case, if any time remains in the half, the team proceeds to a kickoff.
Various sources estimate the success rate of a two-point conversion to be between 40% and 55%, significantly lower than that of the extra point, though if the higher value is to be believed, a higher expected value is achieved through the two-point conversion than the extra point.Wide receiver
A wide receiver, also referred to as wideouts or simply receivers, is an offensive position in American and Canadian football, and is a key player. They get their name because they are split out "wide" (near the sidelines), farthest away from the rest of the team. Wide receivers are among the fastest players on the field. The wide receiver functions as the pass-catching specialist.
Gridiron football concepts
|Levels of play|