Category Archives: Football

Week 5 QB Performances Reviewed Via RIPPEN

An explanation of RIPPEN

Alex Smith led the way in quarterback performances this week with an astonishing RIPPEN just over 43, and Blaine Gabbert continues to dwell at the bottom of all of my tables with a RIPPEN just above 3.

RIPPEN rankings for week 5 performances:

Player Team RIPPEN QB rating
Smith, A. SF 43.014 156.2
Tannehill, R. MIA 34.387 92.3
Brady, T. NE 28.045 104.6
Rivers, P. SD 26.194 96.7
Cutler, J. CHI 24.361 88.8
Brees, D. NO 22.586 110.4
Wilson, R. SEA 21.676 82.2
Rodgers, A. GB 19.363 103.5
Ryan, M. ATL 19.293 89.0
Schaub, M. TEX 19.174 71.9
Weeden, B. CLE 17.863 84.3
Griffin, III, R. WAS 17.237 82.9
Manning, P. DEN 17.206 116.2
Luck, A. IND 15.959 81.0
Ponder, C. MIN 15.934 87.6
Manning, E. NYG 15.532 103.3
Flacco, J. BAL 13.647 55.6
Sanchez, M. NYJ 12.100 54.5
Vick, M. PHI 11.185 104.2
Kolb, K. ARI 10.787 72.7
Roethlisberger, B. PIT 8.572 80.1
Bradford, S. STL 8.025 69.7
Newton, C. CAR 7.107 56.8
Cassel, M. KC 5.758 38.1
Dalton. A. CIN 5.575 63.5
Hasselbeck, M. TEN 5.386 69.9
Fitzpatrick, R. BUF 4.217 57.5
Gabbert, B. JAX 3.096 37.7

Looking at RIPPEN based on the whole season, Tom Brady is ranked number 1 with a RIPPEN of 27.304, which is essentially the same as RGIII’s RIPPEN of 27.279.  The top five is rounded out by Payton Manning, Alex Smith, and Matt Ryan.  My RIPPEN top five is the exact same top five as sorted by season QB rating, but in a different order.  QB rating has the top five guys ranked Smith, Ryan, Brady, Manning, RGIII.

The bottom five according to RIPPEN are Weeden, Kolb, Cassel, Gabbert, and, dead last, Matt Hasselbeck.  QB rating has three of these quarterbacks in the bottom five (Weeden, Cassel, and Gabbert), but by QB rating Sanchez and Tannehill are also in the bottom five.  I have Tannehill 19th and Sanchez 25th out of 32 quarterbacks.

As for most over and under rated quarterbacks, I regressed QB rating as a function of RIPPEN and, as expected, they are highly related.  (QB rating is approximately 58 + 1.63*RIPPEN).  However, there are some large deviations.  The most under-rated quarterback based on QB rating is Cam Newton.  His QB rating is only 80.9, but, based on RIPPEN, we’d expect him to have a QB rating about 16 points higher around 97.  Other under-rated quarterbacks include Ryan Tannehill who is about 14 points lower than expected and Mark Sanchez who is about 11 points lower than expected.  (But don’t get me wrong here, I still think Sanchez is a terrible quarterback.  I just don’t think he is the 30th best quarterback in the league, I think he’s 25th.)

The most over-rated QB based on passer rating is Kevin Kolb.  Based on his passer rating, he is ranked 16th among quarterbacks, but RIPPEN has him ranking 29th.  Based on his RIPPEN, his expected QB rating is 75.3 about 14 points lower than it actually is.  This is likely do to the weight that passer rating gives to touchdown passes.  The next two most over-rated QB’s are Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning.  Roethlisberger has a QB rating about 11 points higher than we would expect and Manning is about 10 points higher than expected.

Season RIPPEN rankings through five weeks of games:

Player Team RIPPEN QB rating
Brady, T. NE 27.304 102.8
Griffin, III, R. WAS 27.279 101.0
Manning, P. DEN 26.905 101.2
Smith, A. SF 25.630 108.7
Ryan, M. ATL 24.263 106.1
Newton, C. CAR 23.978 80.9
Schaub, M. HOU 23.689 99.2
Ponder, C. MIN 20.393 95.5
Rodgers, A. GB 19.697 97.0
Rivers, P. SD 19.654 93.1
Roethlisberger, B. PIT 19.131 100.6
Dalton, A. CIN 19.091 92.9
Brees, D. NO 18.720 90.7
Cutler, J. CHI 18.243 78.7
Stafford, M. DET 17.664 81.6
Manning, E. NYG 16.843 96.0
Luck, A. IND 16.770 77.1
Flacco, J. BAL 16.380 89.9
Tannehill, R. MIA 16.245 70.4
Romo, T. DAL 15.928 78.5
Vick, M. PHI 15.780 77.8
Bradford, S. STL 14.544 78.6
Palmer, C. OAK 13.065 86.0
Freeman, J. TB 12.533 75.3
Sanchez, M. NYJ 11.917 66.6
Wilson, R. SEA 10.782 75.2
Fitzpatrick, R. BUF 10.761 84.2
Weeden, B. CLE 10.465 64.5
Kolb, K. ARI 10.417 89.7
Cassel, M. KC 8.357 66.2
Gabbert, B. JAX 6.678 73.3
Hasselbeck, M. TEN 5.606 73.6

And finally, below is a plot of estimated outcome percentages that are used in calculating RIPPEN.  If you look at Peyton Manning in the upper right corner of the plot you can see that starting from his own 20 yard line and only throwing passes in a simulated world, hell score a touchdown about 32% of the time and convert a field goal about 16% of the time.  So he’d score on around 48% of drives. Compare this with Blaine Gabbert who will score a touchdown on about 6% of drives and get a filed goal about 9% of drives.  This means that 85% of Gabbert drives, in the simulated RIPPEN world, end in either a punt, an interception, or a missed field goal.

Cheers.

NFL Rankings – 10/9/2012

StatsInTheWild NFL rankings as of October 9, 2012 at 12:34pm.  SOS=strength of schedule

Team Rank Change Record ESPN TeamRankings.com SOS Points Diff
San Francisco 1 ↑2 4-1 3 2 6 +81
Chicago 2 ↑2 4-1 6 3 8 +78
Houston 3 ↓1 5-0 1 1 15 +76
Minnesota 4 ↑1 4-1 8 6 7 +41
Arizona 5 ↓4 4-1 9 5 2 +16
New England 6 ↑1 3-2 5 7 11 +52
Atlanta 7 ↓1 5-0 2 4 28 +55
St. Louis 8 ↑3 3-2 18 8 3 +2
Seattle 9 3-2 16 10 4 +16
Baltimore 10 ↓2 4-1 4 9 25 +41
Green Bay 11 ↓1 2-3 12 15 5 +1
NY Giants 12 3-2 7 22 20 +41
Detroit 13 ↑3 1-3 20 20 1 -14
Miami 14 ↑5 2-3 19 11 13 0
Indianapolis 15 ↑9 2-2 22 17 16 -19
Dallas 16 ↑6 2-2 13 19 18 -23
NY Jets 17 ↑1 2-3 25 13 9 -34
Denver 18 ↓4 2-3 17 12 26 +21
Cincinnati 19 ↓4 3-2 15 14 27 -4
Philadelphia 20 ↓3 3-2 11 16 19 -19
San Diego 21 ↓8 3-2 14 21 32 +22
Washington 22 ↓2 2-3 21 23 17 -7
Pittsburgh 23 2-2 10 18 29 +4
Buffalo 24 ↓3 2-3 27 25 14 -58
Tampa Bay 25 ↑1 1-3 23 31 23 -9
Jacksonville 26 ↓1 1-4 31 24 12 -73
New Orleans 27 ↑3 1-4 24 29 22 -13
Carolina 28 ↓1 1-4 26 30 21 -33
Tennessee 29 ↓1 1-4 28 26 10 -93
Oakland 30 ↑2 1-3 29 27 31 -58
Kansas City 31 1-4 30 28 30 -51
Cleveland 32 ↓3 0-5 32 32 24 -39

Best

Best undefeated team: Houston

Best 4 win team: San Francisco

Best 3 win team: New England

Best 2 win team: Green Bay

Best 1 win team: Detroit

Worst

Worst undefeated team: Atlanta

Worst 4 win team: Baltimore

Worst 3 win team: San Diego

Worst 2 win team: Buffalo

Worst 1 win team: Kansas City

Worst team in the league: Cleveland

Most

Most under-rated team: St. Louis (ESPN has them 18)

Most over-rated team: Pittsburgh (ESPN has them 10)

Cheers.

NCAA Football Rankings – 10/7/2012

 
Rank Team Record
1 OREGON 6-0
2 KANSAS STATE 5-0
3 ALABAMA 5-0
4 SO CAROLINA 6-0
5 WEST VIRGINIA 5-0
6 TEXAS 4-1
7 FLORIDA 5-0
8 NOTRE DAME 5-0
9 OKLAHOMA 3-1
10 IOWA STATE 4-1
11 STANFORD 4-1
12 TEXAS TECH 4-1
13 OREGON STATE 4-0
14 LSU 5-1
15 TEXAS A&M 4-1
16 OHIO STATE 6-0
17 BAYLOR 3-1
18 USC 4-1
19 MISS STATE 5-0
20 TCU 4-1
21 GEORGIA 5-1
22 ARIZONA STATE 4-1
23 FLORIDA STATE 5-1
24 OKLAHOMA STATE 2-2
25 CINCINNATI 4-0
26 ARIZONA 3-3
27 CLEMSON 5-1
28 LOUISVILLE 5-0
29 RUTGERS 5-0
30 PENN STATE 4-2
31 MICHIGAN 3-2
32 LOUISIANA TECH 5-0
33 MICHIGAN STATE 4-2
34 UCLA 4-2
35 NORTHWESTERN 5-1
36 TENNESSEE 3-2
37 IOWA 3-2
38 NEVADA 5-1
39 FRESNO STATE 4-2
40 DUKE 5-1
41 WISCONSIN 4-2
42 NORTH CAROLINA 4-2
43 BYU 4-2
44 WASHINGTON 3-2
45 NEBRASKA 4-2
46 CALIFORNIA 2-4
47 MISSOURI 3-3
48 SAN JOSE ST 4-1
49 MIAMI-FLORIDA 4-2
50 OLE MISS 3-3
51 MARYLAND 3-2
52 BOISE STATE 4-1
53 MINNESOTA 4-1
54 UTAH STATE 4-2
55 TOLEDO 5-1
56 PURDUE 3-2
57 ULM 3-2
58 ARKANSAS 2-4
59 NORTHERN ILL 5-1
60 WESTERN KY 4-1
61 OHIO U 6-0
62 PITTSBURGH 2-3
63 LOUISIANA 4-1
64 MIDDLE TENNESSEE 3-2
65 NC STATE 4-2
66 TULSA 5-1
67 KANSAS 1-4
68 KENTUCKY 1-5
69 UTAH 2-3
70 TX-SAN ANTONIO 5-0
71 SYRACUSE 2-3
72 VIRGINIA TECH 3-3
73 TEMPLE 2-2
74 VANDERBILT 2-3
75 WASHINGTON ST 2-4
76 SAN DIEGO ST 3-3
77 TROY 3-2
78 AUBURN 1-4
79 WAKE FOREST 3-3
80 CONNECTICUT 3-3
81 NEW MEXICO 3-3
82 UCF 3-2
83 INDIANA 2-3
84 GEORGIA TECH 2-4
85 KENT STATE 4-1
86 WYOMING 1-4
87 ILLINOIS 2-4
88 SO FLORIDA 2-4
89 COLORADO 1-4
90 ARKANSAS STATE 3-3
91 BALL STATE 3-3
92 TEXAS STATE 2-3
93 BOSTON COLLEGE 1-4
94 AIR FORCE 2-3
95 NAVY 2-3
96 SMU 2-3
97 VIRGINIA 2-4
98 HOUSTON 2-3
99 WESTERN MICH 3-3
100 NORTH TEXAS 2-4
101 UNLV 1-5
102 BOWLING GREEN 3-3
103 EAST CAROLINA 3-3
104 MIAMI-OHIO 3-3
105 IDAHO 1-5
106 ARMY 1-4
107 FLA ATLANTIC 1-4
108 MARSHALL 2-4
109 COLORADO STATE 1-5
110 SOUTH ALABAMA 1-4
111 UAB 1-4
112 BUFFALO 1-4
113 MEMPHIS 1-4
114 CENTRAL MICH 2-3
115 FIU 1-5
116 TEXAS-EL PASO 1-5
117 HAWAII 1-4
118 EASTERN MICH 0-5
119 RICE 1-5
120 SOUTHERN MISS 0-5
121 NEW MEXICO ST 1-5
122 TULANE 0-5
123 AKRON 1-5
124 MASSACHUSETTS 0-6

NFL Predictions – Week 5

Overall Records for 2012

SU: 47-31 

ATS: 44-33 

O/U: 45-32

Week 5 (10-4 SU, 7-7 ATS, 7-7 O/U)

Week 4 (10-5 SU, 10-5 ATS, 12-2 O/U)

Week 3 (5-11 SU, 9-7 ATS, 9-7 O/U)

Week 2 (11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS, 8-8 O/U)

Week 1 (11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS, 8-8 O/U)

Week 4

Thursday @8:25pm

Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams

Prediction: Cardinals win 22-15

Pick: Cardinals -1.5

O/U: Under 39

Sunday @1pm

Atlanta Falcons at Washington Redskins

Prediction: Falcons win 26-19

Pick: Falcons -3

O/U: Under 50

Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers

Prediction: Eagles win 27-24

Pick: Eagles +3.5

O/U:  Over 44.5 

Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts

Prediction: Packers win 29-19

Pick: Packers -7

O/U: Under 48

Cleveland Browns at New York Giants

Prediction: Giants win 24-17

Pick: Browns +10.5

O/U: Under 44

Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals

Prediction: Dolphins win 23-21

Pick: Dolphins +4.5

O/U: Under 44.5

Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs

Prediction: Ravens win 26-18

Pick:  Ravens -4.5

O/U: Under 46.5

Sunday @4:05pm

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers

Prediction: Panthers win 25-21

Pick: Panthers -3

O/U: Over 44

Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars

Prediction: Bears win 24-15

Pick: Bears -4.5

O/U: Under 40.5

Sunday @4:25pm

Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings

Prediction: Vikings win 23-22

Pick: Titans +5.5

O/U: Over 43.5

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots

Prediction: Patriots win 32-20

Pick: Patriots -7

O/U: Over 51.5

Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers

Prediction: 49ers win 24-23

Pick: Bills +9.5

O/U: Over 44

Sunday @8:30pm

San Diego Chargers at New Orleans Saints

Prediction: Saints win 32-27

Pick: Saints -3

O/U: Over 54

Monday @8:35pm

Houston Texans at New York Jets

Prediction: Texans win 26-21

Pick: Jets +9.5

O/U: Over 41

Cheers.

Week 4 QB performances reviewed via RIPPEN

An explanation of RIPPEN

All I have to say is that Romo threw 5 interceptions and Sanchez still had a worse game this week than Romo.  That’s astonishingly bad.

RIPPEN rankings for week 4 performances:

Player Team RIPPEN QB rating
Cutler, J. CHI 45.991 140.1
Griffin, III, R.  WAS 41.929 102.4
Newton, C. CAR 33.071 119.3
Manning, P. DEN 33.046 130.0
Vick, M. PHI 29.562 99.4
Brady, T.  NE 29.519 120.1
Rivers, P. SD 29.445 115.4
Brees, D. NO 28.395 109.0
Schaub, M. HOU 28.292 115.5
Ryan, M. ATL 24.571 107.2
Tannehill, R. MIA 22.815 86.5
Stafford, M. DET 22.177 77.2
Smith, A. SF 22.025 78.1
Rodgers, A. GB 20.369 119.9
Freeman, J. TB 18.074 83.2
Bradford, S. STL 17.914 63.3
Dalton, A. CIN 17.006 96.7
Hasselbeck, M. TEN 16.055 84.2
Kolb, K. ARI 13.856 84.0
Palmer, C. OAK 13.676 73.4
Flacco, J. BAL 13.406 83.2
Fitzpatrick, R. BUF 13.169 81.1
Weeden, B. CLE 12.929 59.8
Manning, E. NYG 9.841 86.3
Romo, T. DAL 9.81 60.1
Cassel, M. KC 8.920 60.7
Ponder, C. MIN 6.323 71.2
Gabbert, B. JAX 4.669 78.8
Wilson, R. SEA 3.200 45.8
Sanchez, M.  NYJ 2.152 39.9

Cheers.

NFL Rankings – 10/3/2012

StatsInTheWild NFL rankings as of October 2, 2012 at 6:48pm.  SOS=strength of schedule

Team Rank Change Record ESPN TeamRankings.com SOS Points Diff
Arizona 1 4-0 5 2 3 +30
Houston 2 4-0 2 1 16 +70
San Francisco 3 ↑3 3-1 4 7 5 +39
Chicago 4 ↑1 3-1 9 9 8 +40
Minnesota 5 ↑2 3-1 14 10 7 +18
Atlanta 6 ↓3 4-0 2 3 31 +48
New England 7 ↑1 2-2 6 5 11 +42
Baltimore 8 ↑1 3-1 3 4 4 +38
Seattle 9 ↓5 2-2 17 13 4 +12
Green Bay 10 ↑3 2-2 8 14 6 +4
St. Louis 11 ↑7 2-2 19 16 2 -12
NY Giants 12 ↓5 2-2 10 17 20 +27
San Diego 13 ↑4 3-1 11 12 32 +29
Denver 14 ↑8 2-2 13 11 28 +31
Cincinnati 15 ↑7 3-1 12 6 27 0
Detroit 16 1-3 20 26 1 -14
Philadelphia 17 ↑3 3-1 7 8 19 -17
NY Jets 18 ↓8 2-2 23 18 9 -28
Miami 19 ↓4 1-3 26 22 12 -4
Washington 20 ↑4 2-2 18 21 18 0
Buffalo 21 ↓9 2-2 21 24 14 -16
Dallas 22 ↓8 2-2 15 20 17 -23
Pittsburgh 23 1-2 16 23 26 +2
Indianapolis 24 ↑1 1-2 31 19 15 -22
Jacksonville 25 ↓6 1-3 30 15 13 -35
Tampa Bay 26 1-3 22 30 25 -9
Carolina 27 ↑1 1-3 24 31 23 -29
Tennessee 28 ↓1 1-3 25 25 10 -70
Cleveland 29 ↑2 0-4 32 28 22 -25
New Orleans 30 ↑2 0-4 28 32 21 -20
Kansas City 31 ↓2 1-3 27 29 30 -48
Oakland 32 ↓2 1-3 29 27 29 -58

RIPPEN Ratings – 10/2/2012

An explanation of RIPPEN

RGIII moves into the number one spot on the year with his nearly 70% completion percentage, 8.6 Yards per attempt, and only one interception so far.  Brady, Ryan, Schaub, and Newton round out the top 5.  The bottom five are Fitzpatrick, Sanchez, Weeden, Wilson, and,in dead last, Gabbert.

Fitzpatrick is being way over-rated by passer rating because he leads the league in passing touchdowns at 12. His QB rating is being artificially inflated because he was lucky enough to have his offensive coordinator call passing plays near the end zone.  RIPPEN ignores this.  On the other send of the spectrum, a guy like Cam Newton is being under-valued by QB rating.  Sure, he’s thrown 5 interceptions so far this year, but he is also averaging 9.5 yards per attempt, which leads the league.  He’s 0.7 yards per attempt better than the second QB, Andy Dalton, who is at 8.8 yards per attempt.

So feel free to go on using QB rating and thinking Ryan Fitzpatrick is an average quarterback, but, if you prefer, you can catch a slightly better glimpse of reality by using RIPPEN.

RIPPEN rankings after four weeks of games:

Player Team RIPPEN QB rating
Griffin, III, R.  WAS 28.369 103.2
Brady, T. NE 27.833 102.4
Ryan, M. ATL 25.793 112.1
Schaub, M. HOU 25.475 105.3
Newton, C. CAR 24.292 87.5
Smith, A. SF 23.354 98.1
Manning, P. DEN 23.299 96.9
Ponder, C. MIN 22.868 97.7
Roethlisberger, B. PIT 22.691 109.2
Manning, E. NYG 22.261 94.3
Dalton, A. CIN 22.154 103.0
Flacco, J. BAL 19.096 95.8
Rivers, P. SD 18.154 91.9
Stafford, M. DET 18.099 81.6
Romo, T. DAL 17.627 78.5
Brees, D. NO 17.494 86.1
Rodgers, A. GB 17.316 95.7
Kolb, K. ARI 17.084 97.6
Locker, J. TEN 16.944 90.2
Vick, M. PHI 16.527 72.7
Bradford, S. STL 16.438 80.1
Luck, A. IND 16.418 75.4
Cutler, J. CHI 15.483 75.3
Tannehill, R. MIA 13.823 66.4
Cassel, M. KC 13.304 70.4
Palmer, C. OAK 12.946 86.0
Freeman, J. TB 12.847 75.3
Fitzpatrick, R. BUF 12.485 89.8
Sanchez, M. NYJ 11.453 69.9
Weeden, B. CLE 9.213 60.4
Wilson, R.  SEA 8.816 73.5
Gabbert, B. JAX 7.808 83.7

Cheers.

 

Replacing Passer Rating: Introducing RIPPEN

I’ve always hated passer rating.  It’s on a bizarre scale (maxes out at 158.3 in the pros), it weighs passing touchdowns too heavily (imho), and it doesn’t mean anything (what is 120 vs 80? No one knows).  So, I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I’ve finally come up with the replacement statistics for passer rating (this replacement, unlike the refs, is a good thing.)  And so, in the spirit of great statistical sports acronyms like PECOTA, it is with great pride that I introduce to the world, Rush Independent Passing Player Efficiency Number, or RIPPEN (pretty good, huh?).

So what is it?

The basic idea

In a simulated world, how well would an offense perform if they started every drive from their 20 yard line and only ran passing plays with this quarterback’s stats.  In this simulated world, a drive either ends with a touchdown (7 points), a field goal (3 points), or a turnover (0 points) (The defense never scores).  RIPPEN is  the expected number of points that an offense will score  in 10 possessions (approximately one game) running only passing plays based on the specific quarterback’s statistics.

Some Details

First, we need to create a data matrix of the results of every passing play for a quarterback.  This data matrix will have three columns: interceptions, completions, and yards. The first column contains zero and ones for not an interception and interception, respectively.  Likewise, the completions column contains zeroes and ones for incomplete and complete passes, respectively.  Finally, the yards column contains the number of yards gained for a completed pass.

Now this data is used to simulate a drive starting from a teams 20 yards line and results in either 0, 3, or 7 points.  7 points are scored if they amass at least 80 yards before getting to a fourth down situation or interception.  3 points are scored only if the team gets to a 4th down and is inside the 40 yard line.  They score a FG with probability proportional to the distance from the goal posts ranging from 100% for a 0 yard FG try to 50% for a FG try from the 40.  0 points are scored if an interception occurs, a fourth down occurs outside of the opponents 40 yard line, or if a field goal is missed.  A game is simulated as 10 possessions, and a game is simulated 10000 times.  The average score of these game simulations is RIPPEN.

Advantages

RIPPEN is easily interpretable

RIPPEN means something.  Ponder’s RIPPEN after three weeks is 29.167.  This means that if you played simulated games over and over again with just him passing every play, on average, that team would score about 29.167 points on offense.  That means something.  Meanwhile, his passer rating is 104.9?  Is that good?  What does that mean?  Who knows?

Further, the scale of RIPPEN is essentially on the same scale as points scored in a football game.  Theoretically, the upper limit of RIPPEN is 70 (a touchdown on every drive in every simulated game) and the lower limit is 0 (a team never scores on any drive in any simulated game).  This is much better than 0 to 158.3.

RIPPEN ignores passing touchdowns

Passing for a touchdown is more a function of what types of plays the offensive coordinator is calling than how good you are.  If you’re driving your team down the field consistently and then punching in TDs from 2 yards out on a rush up the middle, the QB should not be punished for this.  Likewise, the QB shouldn’t be rewarded for multiple short passing touchdowns.

Disadvantages

RIPPEN ignores rushing yards

Quarterbacks like Michael Vick and RGIII are also a threat to gain yards on the ground, and RIPPEN doesn’t take that into account.  This can be viewed a disadvantage.  However, by removing rushing yards, quarterbacks can be compared on a level playing field (hence the RI in RIPPEN), so it’s not a huge disadvantage, but Vick and RGIII are going to appear lower in these ratings than they would be if this were attempting to be a total QB rating and not just a passer rating.  And besides, traditional passer rating ignores rushing yards entirely, too.  The next iteration of RIPPEN will incorporate rushing yards somehow.  But I’m not quite sure exactly how yet.

Results

Finally, here are the rankings after three weeks of games.

Player Team RIPPEN QB rating
Ponder, C. MIN 29.167 104.9
Brady, T. NE 27.468 97.0
Manning, E. NYG 27.292 97.1
Ryan, M. ATL 26.950 114.0
Schaub, M. HOU 24.764 102.4
Griffin, III, R. WAS 24.491 103.5
Smith, A. SF 24.108 102.7
Dalton, A CIN 23.890 105.0
Kolb, K. ARI 23.139 108.6
Roethlisberger, B. PIT 22.946 109.2
Newton, C. CAR 22.804 78.3
Flacco, J BAL 21.939 101.1
Romo, T DAL 21.201 89.3
Manning. P. DEN 19.626 85.6
Locker, J. TEN 17.651 91.9
Rodgers, A. GB 17.505 87.0
Stafford, M. DET 16.568 83.5
Luck, A. IND 16.344 75.4
Bradford, S. STL 15.841 85.4
Sanchez, M. NYJ 15.786 78.3
Cassel, M. KC 15.545 73.8
Rivers, P. SD 15.150 86.5
Vick, M. PHI 14.258 66.3
Brees, D. NO 14.201 77.0
Palmer, C. OAK 12.454 89.3
Wilson, R. SEA 12.335 86.2
Fitzpatrick, R. BUF 11.667 95.2
Tannehill, R. MIA 10.571 58.3
Freeman, J. TB 10.466 71.4
Cutler, J. CHI 10.096 58.6
Gabbert, B. JAX 9.358 85.8
Weeden, B. CLE 8.044 60.7

Surprisingly (or maybe not), I’ve got Christian Ponder ranked number one.  I thought this had to be a mistake, but it actually makes sense.  Go look at his numbers.  He hasn’t thrown an interception yet.  And his completion percentage is 70.1%.  I think RIPPEN is doing a good job here.

Another interesting case is Cam Newton.  His QB rating is 78.3, which puts him well below Blaine Gabbert, for instance, on that scale.  But a big advantage of Newton is that, while his completion percentage is only 63.6%, his yards per attempt is 9.6, the best of all the regular starters.  This means that Newton is completing a lot of long passes, which are useful for scoring touchdowns in both simulated game and a real game.  Think about it, if you completed a 50 yard pass every three plays, your completion percentage would be 33.3%, but you’d score on every drive.  And your QB rating would be terrible.  But big plays are a big help when you’re trying to score points.  So, I’d argue QB rating is under estimating Cam Newton.

On the other end of the spectrum, it appears that one of the more over-rated QBs this year is Ryan Fitzpatrick.  His completion percentage is under 60% (58.1%, to be exact), which is pretty bad, but he’s being held up in QB rating because he’s thrown 8 TDs this year.  That ties him for first in the league with Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger.  But their completion percentages are both at least 10 percentage points higher than his.  Fitzpatrick is over-rated by QB rating.

A clear triumph of RIPPEN is the case of Blaine Gabbert.  Gabbert really isn’t that good, but he is the only other starting quarterback to not have thrown an interception yet this year, while throwing for four touchdowns.  Along with his other stats, this gives him a QB rating of 85.8.  Here is a list of players who have a lower QB rating than Mr. Gabbert so far this season: Peyton Manning, Sam Bradford, Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez, Cam Newton, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, Matt Cassel, Josh Freeman, Michael Vick, Brandon Weeden, Jay Cutler, and Ryan Tannehil.  That’s thirteen QBs and I don’t buy it.  Anyone whos been following his even remotely knows he’s having a terrible start to the year even without throwing any interceptions.  For instance, his completion percentage is 50.6%, which is worse than everyone in the league except for Mark Sanchez at 50.5% (!).  RIPPEN does a nice job reflecting this by putting Gabbert 31st in the league above only Brandon Weeden and his league leading 6 interceptions.

While I have omitted him from the RIPPEN table below, I’ve calculated John Skelton’s RIPPEN for his appearance in Arizona’s first game of the season:  8.527.  Only slightly better than Brandon Weeden.

Lastly, here is a plot of the probability that a quarterback scores simulated touchdown vs the probability their teams scores a simulated field goal.  You can see that Cam Newton is going to score a lot of touchdowns.  He’s up there with Dalton, RGIII, and Schaub.  The difference is that his simulated drives are ending in zero points much more often.  On the other hand, there are players like Wilson and Palmer who are leading their teams to three points about as often as Locker, Flacco and RGIII, but they are scoring many fewer touchdowns.

There are some interesting clusterings, too.  Ryan and Brady are right next to each other in the upper right hand corner, Palmer and Wilson are very close, and there is a cluster in the middle of the plot consisting of Bradford, Sanchez, and Stafford all right on top of each other.  Interesting.  That is all for now.

Cheers.

NFL Week 4 Predictions

Overall Records for 2012

SU: 37-26 (58.73%)

ATS: 37-26 (58.73%)

O/U: 37-25 (59.68%)

Week 4 (10-5 SU, 10-5 ATS, 12-2 OU)

Week 3 (5-11 SU, 9-7 ATS, 9-7 OU)

Week 2 (11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS, 8-8 O/U)

Week 1 (11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS, 8-8 O/U)

Week 4

Thursday @8:20pm

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens

Prediction: Ravens win 24-15

Pick: Browns +13.5

O/U:Under 43.5

Sunday @1pm

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills

Prediction: Patriots win 31-22

Pick: Patriots -3.5

O/U: Over 51

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

Prediction: Lions win 28-25

Pick: Vikings +4.5

O/U:  Off the Board

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons

Prediction: Falcons win 26-23

Pick: Panthers +9

O/U: Over 49

San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets

Prediction: 49ers win 23-21

Pick: Jets +4.5

O/U: Over 40

San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs

Prediction: Chargers win 28-19

Pick: Chargers -1

O/U: Over 44

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

Prediction: Texans win 24-21

Pick: Titans +12.5

O/U: Over 44.5

Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams

Prediction: Seahawks win 20-15

Pick: Seahawks -3

O/U: Under 38.5

Sunday @4:05pm

Miami Dolphins at Arizona Cardinals

Prediction: Cardinals win 22-21

Pick: Dolphins +6.5

O/U: Over 39.5

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos

Prediction: Raiders win 25-22

Pick: Raiders +6.5

O/U: Under 47

Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars

Prediction: Bengals win 22-17

Pick: Bengals -1.5

O/U: Under 43

Sunday @4:25pm

New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers

Prediction: Saints win 31-28

Pick: Saints +7.5

O/U: Over 54

Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Prediction:  Redskins win 20-19

Pick: Redskins +3

O/U: Under 48

Sunday @8:30

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Prediction: Eagles win 29-26

Pick: Eagles -2.5

O/U: Over 45.5

Monday @8:35pm

Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys

Prediction: Cowboys win 23-22

Pick: Bears +4

O/U: Over 42.5 

How bad was the call last night?

UPDATE: This apparently only applies to non-US bettors.

According to a Yahoo! news article:

At least one sports book has apparently decided to sidestep the controversy by refunding the losers their money in the form of a free play, according to NESN. Sportsbook.com took the unusual step because, as one company official put it, “I can’t stand winning unfairly so I am going to give the punters their money back.”

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