October 28, 2014

IAYPA - Fevered Dreams of a Madman edition

In which Kyle Orton is having a better season than Andrew Luck, and a Cleveland quarterback is in the top five.


Ultra-Super Elite
Peyton Manning - 7.9  Epitaph:  No one could shell a mediocre defense like Peyton Manning.
Aaron Rodgers - 7.8  Takes a lot of sacks.  Beats the hell of out of throwing it to the other team.

Ultra Elite
Ben Roethlisberger - 7.4  Washed up, according to reports last year.  They were incorrect.
Brian Hoyer - 7.4  The Cleveland reporters may not be impressed, but this guy is playing great.
Philip Rivers - 7.2 
Carson Palmer - 7.1
Tony Romo - 7.0
Tom Brady - 7.0  Not bad for a a guy who's lost all his ability.
Kyle Orton - 6.9  Hell has frozen over.

Super Elite
Andrew Luck - 6.6
Andy Dalton - 6.6 
Colin Kaepernick - 6.6  Not bad for a perennial disappointment.
Russell Wilson - 6.5  "Russell Wilson's really good." - Jeff Fisher
Drew Brees - 6.4 
Cam Newton - 6.3 

Elite (median value for all QBs w/ >100 attempts is 6.2)
Matt Ryan - 6.2 
Matthew Stafford - 6.2 
Austin Davis - 6.2 
Ryan Fitzpatrick- 6.2 
Kirk Cousins - 6.2 
Joe Flacco - 6.1 
Alex Smith - 6.1 

Elite-ish
Eli Manning - 5.9  So it's the Super Bowl.  Are you starting him or his brother?
Jay Cutler - 5.8 
Mike Glennon - 5.6 

Near-Elite
Ryan Tannehill - 5.3 
Nick Foles - 5.3 
EJ Manuel - 5.3 
Teddy Bridgewater - 5.2 
Derek Carr - 5.1 
Jake Locker - 5.0 

Challenged
Blake Bortles, 3.8  League leader in interceptions (12), two pick sixes vs. Dolphins this week
Geno Smith, 3.7 2nd in League in interceptions (10), including three in the first quarter Sunday...career over...or is it?

Don't give up Geno.  Kyle Orton lived here for almost a decade, now resides in the same neighborhood as Tom Brady and Andrew Luck.  Miracles do happen, even in the NFL.

7 Comments:

Blogger Laird of Madrona said...

I noticed that FiveThirtyEight uses a similar metric called AY/A, borrowed from www.pro-football-reference.com.

AY/A = (pass yards + 20*(pass TD) - 45*(interceptions thrown))/(passing attempts)

October 28, 2014 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger Laird of Madrona said...


Current AY/A leaders:

Adj Yds/Pass Att
1. Peyton Manning · DEN 9.68
2. Aaron Rodgers · GNB 9.35
3. Philip Rivers · SDG 8.81
4. Ben Roethlisberger · PIT 8.52
5. Tony Romo · DAL 8.38
6. Kyle Orton · BUF 8.32
7. Tom Brady · NWE 8.29
8. Brian Hoyer · CLE 8.18
9. Carson Palmer · ARI 8.12
10. Andrew Luck · IND 7.97

October 28, 2014 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger Laird of Madrona said...

So, same top 10.

The all-time career leaders, you ask?

October 28, 2014 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger The Other Front said...

Yes, but it is inferior. It double-counts offensive achievement.

For a simple metric you generally should focus on either yards or scores - on or the other, not both.

You can try to do both, but you then have to assume an "exchange rate." How many yards gets you a point? The number for the Seahawks this year (to-date) is 14.25. For their opponents it's 14.95.

But if you put both yards and touchdowns in there, it's like measuring mountain climbers by how many feet they climbed, then giving them a bonus for summits. The whole point of climbing is to make the summit, and the more feet you climb, the more summits you get.

This is a bit unfair to the special breed of quarterback who can just throw a dagger into the end zone and finish up a drive right there. But if Peyton Manning pumps in a touchdown from 40 yards out he's getting plenty of IAYPA credit - 40 yards on the attempt and no interception penalty.

And why are they using 45 yards? Last time I checked, the football field is 100 yards long, and interceptions happen all over it.

So I took a look. Football Outsiders estimates the value of a turnover at -4 points (here). If that's correct, and the points/yard conversion above is correct, the INT penalty should be 60 yards, not 50. So IAYPA might be wrong, but it's righter than the other model. I suppose we could change it, but I'd have to look to see how robust that 14-15 "exchange rate" is.

A more complicated model should probably take account of pick-sixes, because even with the 50-yard penalty Smith may be overrated, because so many of his passes result in scores for the other team. Your career pick six leaders: Favre and Marion (here)...

October 28, 2014 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger The Other Front said...

Marino, not Marion. Marty Marion did not throw any pick sixes (that we know of) as a National League shortstop.

October 28, 2014 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Laird of Madrona said...

I can (and they do) argue about how much a touchdown is worth above and beyond the number of yards the pass travels ahead of the goal line, but zero isn't the correct answer. A five yard gain five yards from the opponents goal is much harder to accomplish and much more valuable than a five yard pass anywhere else on the field.

October 28, 2014 at 6:57 PM  
Blogger The Other Front said...

That's the kind of classist discrimination that's ruining our society today.

But yeah, that's a shortcoming of the metric. You could also put sacks in there. The right formulation might be:

IAYPA +
sensible touchdown bonus -
sensible sack penalty

I've also avoided the whole touchdown issue because you can have teams with great running backs who don't need the quarterback to make those five-yard TD passes, and you have teams where they have no running game, so that's the only option. But I don't know if the quarterback in the latter case is better, he's just given more opportunities to throw in the red zone because the alternative stink.

By contrast IAYPA is democratic, egalitarian, and embodies the best virtues of liberal America.

October 28, 2014 at 9:23 PM  

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