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Iwatt Stats!

Introducing the all new IQ rating

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We all know how important the QB position is. We don't all agree on how to measure it though. Which is why I've come up with my new IQ Rating, which stand for Iwatt Quarterback Rating.

It's a simple enough statistic:

The IQ rating simply looks at each player in two major, easy-to-understand categories and ranks them by average in these categories.

NPP - Negative Pass Plays - This is how often a QB's pass plays end in either a sack or interception, expressed as a percentage over his total attempts. Smart QBs with bad lines learn to get rid of the ball quickly so as not to get sacked, and smart QBs don't throw bad passes that can get picked off. So a low NPP reflects a smart QB.

YPA- Yards per Attempt - Average amount of yards gained when stepping back to throw. A smart QB is an effective QB. Checking down might avoid negative plays, but you need yardage to win games and a smart QB finds the open receiver downfield, or the one with the best chance toi gain additional yards.

IQ is a relative rating. Because it's IQ, and in an ideal world there's only 32 QBs playing in the NFL, we would want the average quarterback to have an IQ rating of 100. Therefore we define IQ as

IQ= 116 - (NPP Rank)/2 - (YPA Rank)/2

A QB who ranks 16 in NPP and in YPA would have an IQ of 100.

The Second important measurement is the difference between your YPA and NPP rankings. This value is called Var, which helps identify the type of QB out there.

There’s three kinds of QBs we can detect using this rating. The Gambler, the Cardsharp and the Professional.

The Gambler will rank pretty high in YPA, but low on NPP (large positive Var). He’ll hold on too long to the ball, force throws into bad coverage, etc.

The Cardsharp is the opposite of the Gambler (negative Var), never taking a chance for a big play, and never taking huge risks either.

The Professional balances both risk and the numbers (Var near 0).

The IQ and Var for the 2009 season:
As it stands, the top 8 IQ reads as a who’s who of the better QBs in the league last year.

The prototypical Gambler was Big Ben Roethlisberger (14th in IQ), who made some of the best throws in the game (2nd in YPA), but ranked an awful 29th in NPP. Other notable Gamblers last year were Aaron Rodgers and Donovan McNabb to a lesser extent.

Phillip Rivers and Tony Romo tend to rank much better at YPA than NPP, but they still put top 10 numbers on both categories so they qualify as Gambler Extraordinaires.

Last years Cardsharp was Matt Ryan, who although he ranked a solid 12th in IQ, was 6th in NPP and a not very good 21st in YPA. Alex Smith and Chad Henne were other protypical Cardsharps.

Tom Brady, Kurt Warner and Peyton Manning tend to rank much better at NPP than YPA, but they still put top 10 numbers on both categories so they qualify as Card Sharps Extraordinaire.

Drew Brees was the prototype Professional last season, ranking 3 on both stats, striking the perfect balance in avoiding NPP but still going for the big play. Brett Favre, and Matt Schaub were the other notable Professionals out there last year.

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  1. Pruitt's Avatar
    I usually shun all new stats, but your bottom 10 proves that this is a good way to rank QBs. As bad as guys like Anderson, Fitzpatrick and Delhomme were last season, any ranking that had JaMarcus above them was inherently flawed.
  2. thephaze's Avatar
    Awesome job.

    Good analysis.
  3. iwatt's Avatar
    Thanks. I like that it's a relative scale. I'm not looking to reinvent the passer rating (yet?), but a relative scale is helpful. I liked the Gambler/Pro/Card sharp. angle