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 QB||2020 Total Points/Snap|
|1||Patrick Mahomes||Patrick Mahomes|
|2||Aaron Rodgers||Aaron Rodgers|
|3||Russell Wilson||Deshaun Watson|
|4||Deshaun Watson||Tom Brady|
|5||Tom Brady||Russell Wilson|
|6||Derek Carr||Josh Allen|
|7||Philip Rivers||Drew Brees|
|8||Drew Brees||Teddy Bridgewater|
|9||Kirk Cousins||Ryan Tannehill|
|10||Ryan Tannehill||Philip 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).
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.
|Rk||Player||PAA Per 60 Snaps||Last Rk||Start Of Season|
|70||Robert Griffin III||-3.6||72||63|