Statistically Speaking: 2019’s Best Quarterback Part VIby Ryan Potts September 6, 2020 0 comments
Football fans’ eyes can only do so much. Beyond the simple analysis of players on the field, the ruthless data on spreadsheets never lie.
Here’s a look at 2019’s best quarterbacks from a statistical standpoint.
The numbers within the parentheses are the adjusted ranks with 332 pass attempts and 400 pass attempts
Y/A+ = yards per attempt index
NY/A+ = net yards per attempt index
AY/A+ = adjusted yards per attempt index
ANY/A+ = adjusted net yards per attempt index
Comp%+ = completion percentage index
TD%+ = touchdown percentage index
INT%+ = interception percentage index
Sack%+ = sack percentage index
Rate+ = passer rating index
10 – Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders, 111.7 Grade (8, 8)
Carr had an efficient 2019. He was above 110 in every metric besides TD%+, and he completed 70.4 percent of his passes. Las Vegas attacked the wide receiver position in the draft, picking up Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards to facilitate the offense. Ruggs may be mainly a decoy in 2020, but Edwards has shined in camp, and he could be a Day 1 starter for the Raiders. In 2020, the Raiders will hope that Carr can channel more of his 2016 season in terms of touchdown production. Carr should have another solid season in 2020, but it has the potential to be special if he develops a rapport with Ruggs.
9 – Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, 112.1 Grade (7, 7)
Wilson graded out slightly better in 2018, but his 2019 season was nothing short of spectacular. He posted his fifth season with a passer rating of at least 100, posting a 106.3. Wilson threw 30 touchdowns for the third straight year, and he broke 4,000 passing yards for the third time. Seattle ranked 23rd in pass attempts in 2019, making Wilson’s raw stats even more impressive. Wilson did not receive MVP votes in 2019, but he was de facto runner-up to Lamar Jackson’s unanimous vote. Wilson could break the glass ceiling and receive MVP votes or an All-Pro nod in 2020.
8 – Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys, 114.6 Grade (3, 5)
Prescott set career-highs in touchdowns and yards in 2019 finishing second and fourth in the NFL respectively. He was above-average in every metric, posting as high as a 125 in NY/A+. Prescott does have the benefit of strong weapons and a sturdy offensive line, but Prescott made dozens of spectacular throws throughout the season. Moving forward, Prescott might be even better in 2020 as he looks to secure a long-term contract from the Cowboys. 5,000 yards is not out of the question for the 2016 fourth-round pick. Prescott receives a lot of hate because he is the quarterback for the Cowboys, but he played like an elite quarterback in 2019.
7 – Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings, 116.6 Grade (6, 6)
Cousins was electric in 2019. He posted his highest touchdown percentage (in a full season), lowest interception rate, highest adjusted yards per attempt, and the highest passer rating of his career. He led the Vikings to the playoffs, dispatching the Saints in the Wild Card round. Of the metrics he had total control of, Cousins graded between 114 and 121 in all eight, only slipping to a 106 in Sack%+. The raw numbers do not leap off the page, but Cousins only threw 444 passes for his 26 touchdowns and 3,600 yards. Only Randall Cunningham, Dan Fouts, Joe Montana, and Tony Romo reached those plateaus on fewer pass attempts.
6 – Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions, 117.8 Grade (9, 8)
Stafford only threw 291 passes in 2019, but they were probably the most efficient 291 passes he has thrown in the NFL. After never eclipsing a passer rating of 100, Stafford posted a 106.0 in eight starts fueled by a yards per attempt number that was 1.4 yards higher than his career average. Stafford threw touchdowns on 6.5 percent of his throws, a career-high. He graded above 120 in six of nine metrics. If 2019 Stafford plays 16 games in 2020, the Lions could make the playoffs. Stafford achieved his full gunslinger form in 2019, and Detroit will hope he does it again in 2020.
5 – Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs, 119.9 Grade (2, 2)
Notably, these grades do not include Mahomes’s unconscious playoff run with 900 passing yards, 135 rushing yards, or 12 total touchdowns. Mahomes slipped from his otherworldly 2018 numbers in seven of nine metrics, but he was still dominant enough to average a 119.9 across the nine. His touchdown rate came back down to earth, but he cut his interception rate in half. Mahomes had a passer rating of 105.3 which will only improve in 2020. Mahomes will be in play for 50 touchdowns and 5,000 yards again in 2020. He should be the top spot when these rankings are released next season.
4 – Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens, 120.1 (5, 4)
After posting below-average marks in eight of nine grades, Jackson rebounded with eight grades of at least 110 and two above 130. The most eye-popping number is his 9.0 touchdown rate, a TD%+ of 147. Jackson tossed a league-leading 36 touchdown passes in just 401 attempts. These grades do not count his 1,206 rushing yards or seven rushing touchdowns, but Jackson was elite as a passer in 2019. Jackson raised his passer rating by 28.8 points to post a stellar 113.3 in 2019. He raised his completion percentage by nearly eight points in addition to cutting down on interceptions and more than doubling his rookie touchdown percentage.
3 – Matt Schaub, Atlanta Falcons, 123.9 Grade (11, 10)
Schaub only threw 67 passes across three games, but he posted passer ratings of 151.4, 99.8, and 110.9 in those games. The magnum opus for Schaub was a 460-yard performance on 52 attempts against the Seahawks. Despite TD%+ of 99, Schaub was above 124 in seven of the remaining eight metrics. It was a ridiculously small sample size, but Schaub pushed the ball down the field (8.7 yards per attempt) with an elite 74.6 completion rate. He will only be a backup in 2020, but he channeled his Pro Bowl form for a few weeks last season.
2 – Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans, 124.4 Grade (4, 3)
Tannehill did everything Schaub did with a higher touchdown rate and 200 more attempts. Tannehill led the NFL in yards per attempt, adjusted yards per game, yards per completion, and passer rating. In terms of adjusted numbers, he led in Y/A+, NY/A+, AY/A+, and Rate+. If he did not have a 77 Sack%+, he likely would have run away with the top spot. Tannehill completed 70 percent of his passes with a ridiculous 7.7 percent touchdown rate and 9.6 yards per attempt. Tannehill was not relied upon as much in the playoffs, but he did throw five touchdowns. He signed a massive contract in March.
1 – Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints, 125.3 Grade (1, 1)
Brees only played in 11 games and had under 400 pass attempts for the first time since 2003, but Brees was magical in 2019. He led the NFL in completion percentage for the sixth time, adding a 7.1 touchdown rate, 1.1 interception rate, and a solid 7.9 yards per attempt. He had just one grade under 120, pacing the league in Cmp%+ and Sack%+. His 127 TD%+ was his highest since 2011. The Saints disappointed in the playoffs, but Brees had another ridiculous season at the helm. Entering his age-41 season, Brees will look to extend his NFL records for passing yards and passing touchdowns.
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