Week Five Quarterback Rankings

And then there was one. As the Week Five QB Score Rankings indicate, after five weeks we now have only one quarterback who has played more than once and been above average (an average QB Score per play is 1.1) every time he played. The last man standing has been maligned by conservatives, liberals, one famous teammate, and more than a few residents of the city of Brotherly Love. Yes, the only quarterback to be above average every week he has played this year is Donovan McNabb. All other quarterbacks have been below average at least once. Not surprisingly, the Overall QB Score Rankings list McNabb as the top quarterback in the NFL in 2006.

Although only one player has consistently posted above average numbers, two signal callers have been below average every game played – Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Walter. Walter is a rookie on a bad team. So his numbers may not surprise. Roethlisberger, though, is the quarterback for the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers and in 2005 finished second in the NFL in QB Score per play. As the Overall Rankings indicate, now only Walter prevents Roethlisberger from being ranked last in 2006. Once again we see evidence that the numbers signal callers put up can be quite inconsistent. Perhaps that is good news for Pittsburgh fans. It is entirely possible that Roethlisberger will play much better in the weeks to come.

Two more stories from Week Five…

Damon Huard is second best? According to the NFL’s quarterback rating, the top two quarterbacks are David Carr and Damon Huard. QB Score per play ranks these two signal callers 20th and 11th respectively. Last week I detailed the problems with Carr’s performance. Like Carr, Huard has also had three fumbles lost. And since fumbles do impact outcomes, it is likely Huard is over-valued by the NFL’s metric.

Chad Pennington posts the worst mark of the year. Pennington, who was ranked 6th in QB Score per play entering Week Five, posted the lowest QB Score per play of any quarterback in the NFL this year against Jacksonville. Jets fans should note that in 2004 Pennington’s QB Score per play was 2.09. In 2002 his mark was 2.96. As we note in the book, the 2002 effort was the 12th best performance from 1995 to 2005. Of course in 2003 his per play number was only 0.85. So it is possible for Pennington to put up below average numbers, although one would think what he did against the Jaguars is not likely to be seen again soon.

– DJ

QB Score has been discussed previously in the following posts:

Football Outsiders and QB Score

Consistent Inconsistency in Football

The Value of Player Statistics in the NFL

Simple Models of Player Performance

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