Over the years, I haven’t paid too much attention to passer rating, but the more I’ve heard about it, the more confusing it seems. I recall thinking that it was rather odd when I first heard that, according to the formula used to calculate it (which I won’t even go into), a perfect passer rating is assigned a score of 158.3. This rather specific number has been achieved many times over the years, but, according to actual statistics, does not measure actual perfection. Case in point: Tom Brady, the most recent QB to achieve a perfect rating in a game (On Thanksgiving, 2010, against Detroit) was 21 for 27, for 341 yards, 4 TDs, and no INTs. Now, perhaps I’m being a bit too literal, but six incompletions does not sound like perfection to me.
Think that’s strange? It gets stranger. Several years ago, I read that if, in a game, every pass a quarterback attempted was not caught by anyone (so, either incomplete or not intercepted), then that quarterback would achieve a rating of 39.6. I looked it up, and it turned out to be true. So,”Why,” I asked myself, “would anyone design a rating system where the bottom was 39.6?” Then I found out that 39.6 is not the lowest score possible. Extremely poor performances by quarterbacks can register a score even lower. In fact, a score of 0.0 has been recorded numerous times, most recently by Chris Redman, for Atlanta (against Tampa Bay) on December 16th, 2007 (4 of 15 34 yards 0 TDs 2 INTs).
With everything I’ve learned about passer rating, I find it amazing that anyone associated with the NFL takes it seriously at all. That’s no matter, though. I’m here to declare that passer rating is officially dead. It died on Sunday, November 13th, at Arrowhead Stadium.
The killer: Tim Tebow.
In his winning performance last Sunday, Tim Tebow was 2 for 8, for 69 yards, with 1 TD. For this scintillating display, Tebow achieved a passer rating of 102.6. Only three QBs have a rating over 100 for the season: Rodgers, Brady, and Drew Brees. In comparison, a much more impressive-looking performance by Andy Dalton of the Bengals in Week 9 vs. Tennessee (22 of 39, 217 yards, 3 TDs 0 INTs) garnered a passer rating of only 97.9.
So, I’ve given up on taking passer rating seriously. Any smart football fan, not to mention the analysts who talk and write about the NFL as a profession, should do themselves a favour and do the same.
Now, my pick for tonight:
Jets at Broncos
I’m sure most of you will think I’m a “Mile High” for saying this, but I think Denver can take this one. The Jets played Sunday Night (against the Patriots, a very emotional game), and have had less time to rest and prepare for a team that employs an offensive strategy that they are not used to. Add to that the loss of LaDainian Tomlinson, and Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil chasing Mark Sanchez around, and I think you’ve got the makings of an upset. Just don’t talk to me about Timmy’s you-know-what rating after the game. Winner: Broncos