Week Two QB and RB Rankings

Posted on September 21, 2008 by


Just in time for the NFL on Sunday, here are the Wages of Wins performance rankings after two weeks of play:

Table One: Quarterback Rankings for Week Two

Table Two: Running Back Rankings for Week Two

And here are a few story lines:

  • Aaron Rodgers has outperformed Brett Favre so far.  Of course the numbers do not tell the whole story.  Rodgers got to play the Detroit Lions (my team) while Favre spent last week battling the New England Patriots.
  • Last year Tom Brady produced 0.331 points per play.  This year, quarterbacks playing the Lions have produced 0.385 points per play.  If this continues, fans of the Lions are going to be wondering after today why the team ever let J.T. O’Sullivan leave for San Francisco (this is not something anyone wondered this past off-season after seeing O’Sullivan play briefly for the Lions last year).
  • Continuing with the Lions theme… do coaches for the Lions think Jon Kitna is a good quarterback because he gets to perform in practice against the Lions defense?  That has to distort the evaluation process.
  • The top quarterback in Net Points per Play is Philip Rivers.  His team, though, is winless.  This suggests that maybe you need more than a quarterback to win games.  In other words, maybe we should stop assigning wins and losses to the quarterback (we made this point in the book).
  • The top two running backs – Michael Turner and Earnest Graham –  were not hot commodities on draft day.  Turner was taken in the 5th round while Graham wasn’t drafted. 
  • Chris Perry – a stand-out at Michigan – is currently the least productive running back in the NFL (of those with at least 20 carries).  Is anyone second guessing the decision to name Perry as the number one back in Cincinnati?  Of course Rudi Johnson is not tearing up the league in Detroit (although, is it possible for anyone to do that in Detroit?).

Okay, those are my thoughts after Week Two.  In case you missed it, here was the story I wrote after Week One (with performance rankings at that point):

Week One Performance Rankings

– DJ

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For more on the Wages of Wins football metrics see

The New QB Score

Consistent Inconsistency in Football

Football Outsiders and QB Score

The Value of Player Statistics in the NFL

Posted in: Football Stories