Quarterback Rating: A Flawed Metric

In the world of football, statistics reign supreme. From passing yards to interceptions, every aspect of the game is meticulously tracked and analyzed. However, one statistic that has come under fire in recent years is Quarterback Rating (QBR). This metric, designed to measure a quarterback's overall performance, is often touted as the definitive measure of a player's skill. But is it really all that it's cracked up to be? In this article, we'll delve into the many reasons why QBR is a bad stat and why it should be taken with a grain of salt.

1. QBR is Subjective

At its core, QBR is a subjective statistic. It relies heavily on the opinions of a panel of experts who assign grades to each quarterback based on their performance. This means that the rating is susceptible to bias and inconsistency. Different experts may have different interpretations of what constitutes good or bad quarterback play, leading to variations in the ratings.

a) Lack of Standardization:

One of the biggest problems with QBR is the lack of standardization in the grading process. There is no明確な基準for assigning grades, which leaves room for personal preferences and biases to influence the ratings. This can lead to quarterbacks being unfairly penalized or rewarded based on the subjective opinions of the experts.

b) Inconsistent Application:

Another issue with QBR is the inconsistent application of the grading criteria. The same action by a quarterback may be interpreted differently by different experts, resulting in different grades. This inconsistency makes it difficult to compare quarterbacks accurately and can lead to misleading conclusions.

2. QBR Ignores Important Factors

QBR fails to take into account several key factors that contribute to a quarterback's success. These include:

a) Offensive Line Play

A quarterback's performance is heavily influenced by the quality of his offensive line. A strong offensive line provides the quarterback with time to throw and protection from the pass rush. Conversely, a weak offensive line can make it difficult for even the best quarterbacks to succeed. QBR, however, does not account for the impact of the offensive line, making it a flawed measure of a quarterback's skill.

b) Wide Receiver Play:

Just as the offensive line plays a crucial role, so do the wide receivers. Talented receivers who can create separation and make plays on the ball can make a quarterback look much better than he actually is. On the flip side, poor receiver play can make even the most skilled quarterback struggle. QBR, however, ignores the contributions of wide receivers, making it an incomplete evaluation of a quarterback's performance.

3. QBR Overvalues Certain Stats

QBR places a disproportionate emphasis on certain statistics, such as passing yards and touchdowns. While these stats are important, they do not tell the whole story of a quarterback's performance. For example, a quarterback who throws for a lot of yards may be doing so against weak defenses or in garbage time. Similarly, a quarterback who throws a lot of touchdowns may be benefiting from a high-powered offense that creates easy scoring opportunities. QBR fails to take these factors into account, leading to potentially misleading results.

4. QBR is Not Predictive

One of the main purposes of a statistic is to help predict future performance. However, QBR has been shown to be a poor predictor of future success. Studies have found that there is little correlation between a quarterback's QBR and his team's胜–输record or playoff success. This means that QBR is not a reliable indicator of how well a quarterback will perform in the future.

5. QBR is Easily Manipulated

Finally, QBR is a stat that is easily manipulated. By calling certain plays or targeting specific receivers, a quarterback can inflate his QBR. For example, a quarterback can run more often to avoid sacks and interceptions, thus boosting his QBR. This can lead to situations where quarterbacks are making decisions that are not necessarily in the best interests of their team in order to improve their personal statistics.


Quarterback Rating (QBR) is a flawed statistic that fails to accurately measure a quarterback's performance. It is subjective, ignores important factors, overvalues certain stats, is not predictive, and is easily manipulated. As a result, QBR should be taken with a grain of salt and should not be used as the sole measure of a quarterback's skill.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. What are some of the alternatives to QBR?

There are several alternative metrics that aim to provide a more accurate evaluation of quarterback performance. Some of these metrics include:

  • Completion Percentage: This measures the percentage of passes completed by a quarterback.
  • Yards per Attempt (YPA): This statistic measures the average number of yards gained per pass attempt.
  • Passer Rating: This metric takes into account several factors, including completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns, and interceptions, to provide a comprehensive evaluation of a quarterback's performance.

2. Why is QBR so popular if it's not a good stat?

QBR is popular because it is a single number that attempts to summarize a quarterback's performance. It is easy to understand and compare, which makes it appealing to fans and media members. However, the simplicity of QBR comes at the cost of accuracy and reliability.

3. Can QBR ever be a good stat?

QBR could be improved by addressing its current flaws. This would involve creating a more standardized and objective grading process, incorporating factors such as offensive line and wide receiver play, and de-emphasizing certain stats. However, even with these improvements, QBR would still be limited by its subjective nature and lack of predictive power.

4. Should we completely disregard QBR?

While QBR is a flawed statistic, it can still provide some useful information. It can be used as a starting point for evaluating quarterbacks, but it should not be the only metric considered. When evaluating a quarterback, it is important to look at a variety of statistics and factors to get a complete picture of their performance.

5. What is the most important stat for evaluating quarterbacks?

There is no single statistic that can perfectly evaluate a quarterback's performance. However, some of the most important stats to consider include completion percentage, yards per attempt, passer rating, and turnovers. These stats provide a good indication of a quarterback's accuracy, efficiency, decision-making, and ability to avoid mistakes.



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