Week Eight Quarterback Rankings

A few blocks from my house in Bakersfield is Stockdale High School. This year the Mustangs are struggling, but a few years back Stockdale was a bit more successful when it was led by quarterback David Carr. Carr went on to star at California State University – Fresno (better known as Fresno State). After finding success as a Bulldog, Carr became the number one draft choice of the Houston Texans in 2002.

In Houston Carr has found less success. This year, though, with a new coach he has risen towards the top in the league, at least according to the NFL’s quarterback rating. After seven weeks Carr was the 4th highest rated passer in the NFL.

QB Score per play, though, told a different story. When one considers rushing, sacks, and fumbles – along with the passing statistics – Carr was only ranked as the 19th best signal caller.

Apparently the Texans evaluations come a bit closer to the view offered by QB Score. In Week Eight Carr was sacked four times and lost two fumbles. Although he had completed 71% of his passes, in the Week Eight QB Score Rankings Carr was ranked last in the NFL. Such a performance caused Carr to suffer an experience that he never had at Stockdale High or Fresno State. He got to watch his team play the end of a football game from the sidelines.

After Carr’s effort in Week Eight he did drop in the Overall Rankings. According to the NFL’s rating, Carr is now only the 6th best signal caller in the game. QB Score per play ranks him 23rd. And apparently, given the quarterback controversy brewing in Houston, QB Score is coming closer to how Carr is viewed by the Texans.

Two other stories from Week Eight…

Donovan McNabb and Andrew Walter continue to be the most consistent quarterbacks in the NFL. In Week Eight, McNabb was once again above average and remains the only quarterback to be above the mark of 1.1 every week he has played this season. Walter, despite his team’s stunning upset of the Super Bowl Champion Steelers, was once again below average. His mark of -4.65 was surprisingly not his worst offering of the year. That occurred in Week Two, when his QB Score per play was -5.0. One of my fellow professors at California State University – Bakersfield insists that Walter is showing him something. After a Week Eight performance when Walter netted seventeen yards for the game, I am not sure what that something might be.

Two quarterbacks who have shown us something are Trent Green and Damon Huard. Green had a QB Score per play of 2.56 in 2005, a mark that ranked 5th in the league. Through eight weeks Huard – Green’s back-up in Kansas City – has posted a per play mark of 2.37 and is ranked sixth in the league. And this raises two questions. Is Huard a good quarterback? Or are both Green and Huard just products of their teammates and system? And how can we tell? Okay, that was three questions (and no, I don’t have the answers).

– 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