ESPN developed the Total Quarterback Rating this offseason as a better measurement of quarterback performance. The process "takes into account all of a quarterback's contributions (passing, rushing, sacks, fumbles, penalties) to his team's scoring and winning and summarizes then into one number on a 0-100 scale, on which 50 is average."
With the prolific passing from the past weekend, and especially the record breaking aerial attack New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady and his Miami Dolphins counterpart, Chad Henne, here's a look at the week 1 Total QBR:
1. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo - 91.2
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay - 91.1
3. Tom Brady, New England - 88.6
4. Matthew Stafford, Detroit - 87.4
5. Joe Flacco, Baltimore - 79.6
6. Cam Newton, Carolina - 75.7
7. Rex Grossman, Washington - 75.0
8. Drew Brees, New Orleans - 71.6
9. Matt Schaub, Houston - 71.0
10. Chad Henne, Miami - 70.7
Interestingly, Tom Brady, with his 517 yards passing, only shows up at number three on the rankings, due to the nature of some of his pass attempts. The 99-yard pass to Wes Welker, for instance, actually was not as valuable as some of his other throws, due to the score and the time on the clock.
The Total QBR process takes every piece of information about the game, the play, and the results into consideration. A 4-yard pass on 3rd and 3, when trailing by 7, is a lot more valuable than an 8-yard pass on 2nd and 10, when leading by 14, for instance. In the 99-yard pass situation, due to New England having a 14 point lead, on a first and ten play, with just 5:57 to go, did not rack up as many points as some of the other throws he, and other QBs, made during the week.
Lost in all of this, however, is Miami's own Chad Henne. Henne had a great game. He finished the game with a 30-for-49, 416 yards, 2 touchdown performance. His one interception came on the last play of the game, and meant nothing because Miami couldn't tie up the game. He had the tenth best Total QBR, coming in at 70.7, well above average, and among some of the bigger names in the NFL.
Quite a difference from Henne's 2010 season total QBR of 41.4, giving him 27th overall in the league.
To compare Total QBR to the more familiar passer rating, Henne had a 93.6 passer rating (he was at 104 until the interception), while Brady finished the night with a 121.6 passer rating. While these seem about right, given the 158.3 perfect score of the ratings, and the fact that a QB reaching the 100 mark in passer rating has had a great game, the passer rating has it's obvious flaws. Take for instance the performance of Indianapolis quarterback Kerry Collins. Collins was miserable on Sunday. Everything seemed to go wrong for him. Yet, he ended up with a passer rating of 82.3, a very respectable score. He did that on 16-for-31 passing, for 197 yards, 1 touchdown, and he also fumbled three times, losing 2. But, when you turn to QBR, Collins' performance is better represented by his dead last rating of 2.3. Seems much more telling of a quarterback's play, doesn't it.
And, just for fun, when you look at the bottom of the league in Total QBR, you have Collins in 33rd (Cincinnati had two quarterbacks qualify due to injury), Ben Roethlisberger at 32 (10.8), Matt Cassel 31st (11.2), and Mark Sanchez in 30th (17.6). In fact, of the bottom seven quarterbacks, Sanchez's Jets are the only team to have won their game.
So, as the panic continues to sweep through Miami, and Dolphins fans everywhere, take solace in knowing, at least after one week, the Miami Dolphins have a top 10 quarterback.