ESPN is set to launch a brand new stat aimed at better quantifying a quarterback's performance. For years, we've used "QB rating" to help judge QBs, but the problem with that has always been that it simply measures passing performance and does so with no context at all. As we know, with football, context really is everything. A meaningless hail mary interception at the end of a half has the same negative effect on a guy's QB rating as Brett Favre throwing a pick late in the fourth quarter of a playoff game.
Obviously, those two interceptions are not equal and shouldn't be treated as such. That's one of the many things that ESPN hopes to fix with this new passing stat, which they plan to reveal and fully explain in a SportsCenter special this Friday. They aren't revealing the system yet, but we do know that it is on a 100 point scale and that they have given an outline of QBs scored in 2010.
Top tier: Brady, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, Michael Vick, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.
Well above average: Josh Freeman, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers.
Above average: Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo, Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub, David Garrard and Kerry Collins.
Around average: Matt Cassel, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer, Colt McCoy, Kyle Orton and Jon Kitna.
Below average: Shaun Hill, Jason Campbell, Jay Cutler, Matt Hasselbeck, Chad Henne, Donovan McNabb, Sam Bradford and Alex Smith.
Poor: Derek Anderson, Brett Favre and Jimmy Clausen.
It should be interesting to see just how different the ratings in this system end up being than QB rating. Because according to this outline, there aren't huge differences, especially at the top. Last year's top five in terms of QB rating were Brady, Rivers, Rodgers, Vick and Roethlisberger. Either way though, I'm excited to see what they've come up with. QB rating really doesn't give us the whole picture...