Quantifying the Qualitative
Plug in a few numbers. Press the Calculate button. And just like that, a number
pops out, displaying your quarterback’s performance. 31.4? He had a bad day. 128.7? He
put up a show.
My efforts to improve the NFL Quarterback Rating Formula are centered on
including wide receiver prowess as a metric for quarterback performance. The logic
behind labeling wide receiver talent as a variable is simple: wide receivers that are skilled
tend to boost their quarterbacks’ ratings. To convert this variable (also called a predictor)
into mathematics, I created an algorithm that would take wide receiver statistics from a
database I built, churn out a numerical assessment, and finally combine that assessment
along with other metrics like sacks and fumbles to form a quarterback rating. These two
challenges – incorporating predictors and quantifying predictors – form key fundamentals
of statistical modeling. My new formula is far from perfect, but that’s the nature of
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 Spring '10
 sdf
 princeton, quarterback rating formula

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