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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.