Who Is The Greatest Quarterback of All Time?
To answer that question we must consider five aspects of the quarterback position: passing, rushing, quality of supporting personnel, quality of opposition, and luck. Full ranking... Aaron Rodgers
Typically though we evaluate a quarterback's effectiveness by only considering his passing game, using the standard Passer Rating formula:
As you can see, this formula considers pass completions, yards gained, touchdown passes, and interceptions versus pass attempts. It ignores rushing, which is then best expressed as rushing yards per game.
Situational context such as when the pass attempt is on a third down or how much time is remaining is not taken into consideration, nor is what is at stake, the quality of the opposing defense or the ability of the offensive line to protect the QB.
Thus Peyton Manning's touchdown pass when the Broncos were down 36-0 in the third quarter of the 2014 Super Bowl counts for just as much as Eli Manning's 13 yard touchdown pass with 35 seconds to play and the Giants down by 4 in the 2008 Super Bowl. Likewise the devastating toll of Brett Favre throwing for an interception with 19 seconds to play in the 2009 NFC Championship game is counted the same as an intercepted pass in the first quarter of a week 2 game. Also, the QB is charged with an incomplete pass when the wide receiver drops a perfect pass, and he is charged with an interception when the receiver tips the ball and it's then recovered in the air by a corner back.
So using only the passing statistics, who is the greatest quarterback of all time, with at least 750 pass attempts? It's not Peyton Manning, it's not Tom Brady, and it's not Joe Montana. It's Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wislon is second.
Here is a clip of the full ranking, which we can also tweak to give only a certain range of years and minimum number of pass attempts: (mouse over column headers for explanation)
and Russell Wislon
are so high up because they make so few mistakes, very few interceptions. Intuitively, we'd expect Eli Manning
, Brett Favre
, and Dan Marino
to be in the top 10 of this list while we wouldn't expect Steve Young
or Philip Rivers
to be so high up. Eli Manning
has been Super Bowl MVP twice, yet his numbers leave him at #49 in the ranking. Brett Favre
and Dan Marino
(#21 and #25, respectively) were very reliable quarterbacks and extremely popular but they made a lot of mistakes.
The younger crop of quarterbacks such as Russell Wislon
, Colin Kaepernick
, and Robert Griffin III
seem to come with enhanced running ability whereas the current greats seem to be monolithic passers. Peyton Manning
rushes for only 3.45 yards per game! -- Phil Ploquin, July 24th, 2014 [ Comments ]
Euro 2016 Qualifying Status
A detailed look into Germany's qualifying group's reality reveals that the world champs are not in danger of missing Euro 2016.
The expanded format of the competition which now includes 24 teams in the finals makes it so you need only finish in the top two of your group of six teams to qualify directly, or finish third and win a playoff against an unseeded team (there's no chance they'd have to play The Netherlands, for instance, who are in a similar state of panic after their own unimpressive start.)
The Germans lost on the road against their strongest group rivals Poland, and then conceded a draw to the Irish at home. Before that they had a very unimpressive win at home against Scotland, but 3 points is 3 points. And next up in November, before a 5 months hiatus during which the players' form can change, they get to beat up on lowly Gibraltar while the other contenders compete for points against each other.
So, in order to miss out altogether, the Germans would have to lose in both Scotland and Ireland, fail to win at home against Poland, drop points against Georgia, or somehow fail to destroy Gibraltar. Meanwhile, all three of their rivals would have to have perfect records against spoiler Georgia and mostly play to a draw with one another. I wouldn't worry about it.
Of course, these results have not been entirely accidental. Retirements and injuries have this team looking more like the B squad of the team that won the 2014 World Cup, and also every team they take on is highly motivated to take down the champs. It's normal for championship teams to have a bit of a let down. Spain were just ridiculous in bucking that trend.
Let's look at where we stand, after the last games played on October 15th:
-- Phil Ploquin, October 17th, 2014 [ Comments ]
The Netherlands slipped up losing in Iceland but they should still finish at least second in this group. Iceland will eventually drop points where they shouldn't drop points and end up third. If the Czechs win out at home and get at least a draw in a couple of road games they should win the group.
Belgium and Bosnia-Herzegovina were in Brazil this past summer so surely they must be expected to advance out of this group. Wales and Israel have other ideas though, and at least one of them should finish in the top two while the other competes with the Bosnians for the playoff spot.
As their run at the World Cup proved, Spain is no longer invincible and a loss to Slovakia confirms it. A reassuring trouncing of Macedonia later and we can safely assume Spain will be in France next summer. Slovakia and Ukraine get to duke it out for the second place, with Macedonia and Belarus ready to steal a point here and there.
Poland may have beaten the world champs at home, but they then conceded a draw against Scotland at home. The Irish meanwhile took a point from the Germans in Germany and they also beat Georgia in Georgia, which is not an easy feat. Scotland beat Georgia at home, lost in Germany, then tied in Poland. Anything can happen here but so far, advantage the Republic of Ireland.
|Republic of Ireland||7||+8|
After their dismal showing in Brazil, England are doing a good job in this weak group. Slovenia unexpectedly beat Switzerland but the Swiss should recover and qualify directly anyway. Lithuania and Estonia are spoilers, though they could supplant Slovenia for the playoff spot.
This is the weakest and most open group. Greece is not living up to its status as the seeded team and Northern Ireland is looking to capitalize. Anything can happen here, except for the Faeroe Islands qualifying.
This one is messy. Sweden and Russia should qualify with Austria taking the playoff place, but Montenegro could make trouble.
Italy and Croatia are going to run away with this group while Norway tries to keep their lead over Bulgaria for the playoff spot.
The shameful display in Serbia not withstanding, the competition in this group is fierce. Portugal handicapped themselves by losing at home to Albania but made up for it by winning in Denmark. Depending on what UEFA does with Serbia it's a fair bet that Portugal and Denmark emerge from this group with Serbia and Albania duking it out for the playoff spot.