Photo: Flickr/Chad Davis
If the four teams that are still alive in the NFL playoffs have anything in common, it is that each team is led by a solid young quarterback. All four were drafted in the first round and all four are under the age of 30.But if we set aside Ben Roethlisberger’s two Super Bowl rings, which quarterback is the best right now?
Aaron Rodgers was third in QB Rating (101.2) this season, while Roethlisberger was fifth (97.0), Jay Cutler was 16th (86.3), and Mark Sanchez was a lowly 27th (75.3). But QB Rating is not without its problems. Thankfully, we have some better ways to measure how good a quarterback has been.
Let’s take a look at the four quarterbacks using some traditional and non-traditional measures…
If we look at Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt (ANY/A), we see that Rodgers and Roethlisberger are similar and both are clearly better than Sanchez and Cutler. Rodgers was 4th in the NFL and Roethliesberger was 5th. Neither Sanchez nor Cutler were in the top 10.
But if we look at Win Probability Added (WPA; number of wins a QB is directly responsible for), now we see Rodgers clearly distance himself from the other quarterbacks. Rodgers was third in the NFL, trailing only Matt Ryan (4.75) and Drew Brees (4.53). Roethisberger was only 11th, indicating that he has more help than Rodgers.
In WPA, Sanchez is an average quarterback, ranking 14th. But that is still better than Cutler who is 18th, behind Matt Cassell (1.28) and Jason Campbell (1.28).
Rodgers is clearly the class of the remaining quarterbacks and Roesthlisberger is a notch ahead of Sanchez (this season), despite his terrible quarterback rating. As for Cutler, well, the Bears haven’t gotten much help from their quarterback this season.
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