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World’s No. 1 Quarterback Update: Giving Bridgewater his due

By MARK SIMON and ALEX VIGDERMAN

We’re still learning about what our World’s No. 1 Quarterback Ranking calculation has to tell us about quarterback performance. The overall rankings in the important spots didn’t change much from last week to this week. Tom Brady moved up to No. 5 for the second time this season. Philip Rivers bumped up to No. 7, the highest he’s rated at any point in 2020.

So in looking for something to comment on here before providing the updated rankings list, I thought I’d compare our World’s No. 1 Quarterback Top 10 to the 2020 quarterback leaders in Total Points Per Snap.

World’s No. 1 QB2020 Total Points/Snap
1Patrick MahomesPatrick Mahomes
2Aaron RodgersAaron Rodgers
3Russell WilsonDeshaun Watson
4Deshaun WatsonTom Brady
5Tom BradyRussell Wilson
6Derek CarrJosh Allen
7Philip RiversDrew Brees
8Drew BreesTeddy Bridgewater
9Kirk CousinsRyan Tannehill
10Ryan TannehillPhilip Rivers

The World’s No. 1 Quarterback Ranking is based on a model devised by Bill James to evaluate The World’s No. 1 Starting Pitcher. Bill’s model was based on cumulative evaluation of individual starts over an extended time period using the metric Game Score.

The World’s No. 1 Quarterback Ranking uses our player value stat, Total Points to make a cumulative evaluation of game performance over a three-year period. The key to our calculation is Points Above Average, the statistical underpinning of Total Points that is centered at zero so that positive numbers are above average and negative numbers are below average.

Success over time is key to maintaining a good ranking. Prolonged inactivity results in a ranking drop. The recent performances carry the most weight.

Not surprisingly, all the names in the Top 5 on one list are in the Top 5 on the other list (Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, and Tom Brady).

But there are two quarterbacks in the Top 10 in Total Points Per Snap who don’t make the Top 10 of the World’s No. 1 QB – Josh Allen and Teddy Bridgewater.

Allen ranks No. 11 and he’s coming off a statistically poor game, the fifth-worst game in Points Above Average in Week 14. He doesn’t have enough of a positive body of work just yet for the World’s No. 1 QB system to fully embrace him. He’s been as high as No. 9 this season, so we’re not that concerned about his current absence from the Top 10.

Bridgewater is a case of how the World’s No. 1 QB system works. Remember that we said that we use three years of data in our calculations. The lack of playing time in 2018 and 2019 dents Bridgewater’s No. 8 ranking in Total Points Per Snap this season, though not so much as to make him unfindable. He’s No. 13 in the World’s No. 1 Quarterback Rankings and he’s had a positive Points Above Average in three of his last four games, so he’s headed in a good direction even if his team is not (even though that might not be public perception).

Liking Lamar

If you’re looking for a big spike for Lamar Jackson in our rankings, you’re not going to find it. Jackson, who ranked No. 5 after the first game of the season, sits at No. 22, up one spot from Week 13. Though Jackson came up huge at the end of Monday’s win against the Browns, leverage is not factored into his ranking, thus he gets no bonus for big late-game plays. Jackson still has some statistical work to do to minimize the impact of his early-season issues. Jackson has two games that rank in the bottom 6 in PAA and another that ranked 31st.

The best in the game

If you haven’t read Sarah Thompson’s MVP breakdown, take a look because it points out just how good Mahomes has been.

One note to add to it: Even when Mahomes has a bad game, it’s not really a bad game. His Week 14 effort against the Dolphins was his third-worst game of the season by PAA. But it still rated above average.

In fact, Mahomes hasn’t had a game that scored below average in PAA since Week 11 last season against the Chargers.

RkPlayerPAA Per 60 SnapsLast RkStart Of Season
1Patrick Mahomes8.511
2Aaron Rodgers7.722
3Russell Wilson4.733
4Deshaun Watson3.7415
5Tom Brady3.7611
6Derek Carr3.654
7Philip Rivers2.8910
8Drew Brees2.676
9Kirk Cousins2.485
10Ryan Tannehill2.01022
11Josh Allen1.61139
12Matt Ryan1.2129
13Teddy Bridgewater0.41321
14Matthew Stafford0.21616
15Dak Prescott0.1147
16Jared Goff-0.11714
17Baker Mayfield-0.11541
18Kyler Murray-0.31917
19Justin Herbert-0.421N/A
20Ryan Fitzpatrick-0.51813
21Ben Roethlisberger-0.82035
22Lamar Jackson-1.0238
23Jacoby Brissett-1.02212
24Taysom Hill-1.12418
25Tua Tagovailoa-1.627N/A
26Joe Burrow-1.825N/A
27Jimmy Garoppolo-1.92620
28Matt Moore-2.42824
29Chase Daniel-2.52925
30Drew Lock-2.54036
31Gardner Minshew-2.53030
32Andy Dalton-2.66655
33Matt Schaub-2.73132
34Jeff Driskel-2.73229
35Blake Bortles-2.73333
36Brett Hundley-2.83440
37Nate Sudfeld-2.83542
38Trevor Siemian-2.83644
39Paxton Lynch-2.83745
40David Fales-2.83847
41DeShone Kizer-2.83949
42Joshua Dobbs-2.84150
43Josh McCown-2.84357
44David Blough-2.84252
45Sean Mannion-2.84453
46Cody Kessler-2.94656
47Phillip Walker-2.947N/A
48Marcus Mariota-2.94848
49AJ McCarron-2.94959
50Blaine Gabbert-2.95160
51Jameis Winston-2.95026
52Case Keenum-2.95227
53Matt Barkley-2.95461
54Garrett Gilbert-3.055N/A
55C.J. Beathard-3.05654
56Mason Rudolph-3.05865
57Nathan Peterman-3.16176
58Nick Mullens-3.16037
59Jalen Hurts-3.245N/A
60Joe Flacco-3.26358
61Tyrod Taylor-3.26464
62Devlin Hodges-3.26568
63Jarrett Stidham-3.362N/A
64Mike Glennon-3.35738
65Brian Hoyer-3.36769
66Kyle Allen-3.36874
67Eli Manning-3.46971
68Brett Rypien-3.570N/A
69Cam Newton-3.55931
70Robert Griffin III-3.67263
71Brandon Allen-3.67466
72Ben DiNucci-3.773N/A
73Daniel Jones-3.75367
74Colt McCoy-3.87570
75Josh Rosen-3.87677
76Kendall Hinton-3.877N/A
77Will Grier-3.97875
78Alex Smith-4.17123
79Nick Foles-4.17928
80Dwayne Haskins-4.48034
81Ryan Finley-4.78178
82Mitchell Trubisky-4.98272
83Jake Luton-5.183N/A
84Carson Wentz-5.38419
85Sam Darnold-6.28551
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