Hopefully all of you enjoyed week 2 in the NFL, I know I did. This is the 2nd blog post in my rookie quarterback series (Here is the first). I will be following the five rookies who went into week 1 as a starting QB. Every week, I will look back on the Madden 13 attribute adjustments they received and discuss their most recent performance. I don't support the weekly "kneejerk" ratings system that EA currently uses. I believe players should be evaluated with larger sample sizes prior to making attribute adjustments. That said, EA is not going to change anytime soon, so I will discuss the weekly changes and what we could expect in the future.
I will list each of the five quarterbacks and their original Madden 13 attribute ratings (and any changes so far).
First, let's look at how all five stack up against each other based on their attribute ratings:
Yellow = Best among the five rookie starters.
Blue = Attribute was increased since previous update.
Red = Attribute was decreased since previous update.
The Original Madden 13 Averages are based on ALL QB's.
*PLEASE NOTE - For the attributes below, no changes have been made from the Original Madden 13 attributes:
So now that we've seen the attributes, lets look at statistics from week 2 and year to date.
- Deep Accuracy (DAC) statistics were gathered from www.profootballfocus.com. PFF defines a deep attempt as a pass targeted 20 or more yards downfield (in the air). If a receiver catches a ball 5 yards downfield and goes 20 yards for a TD, that is not considered a deep target. Yards after catch do not factor into PFF's deep passing statistics.
- Pressure % is a www.profootballfocus.com statistic that is defined as "The percentage of dropbacks under pressure per total dropbacks."
- ESPN QBR statistics can be found here: http://espn.go.com/nfl/qbr and the QBR is explained here: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/6833215/explaining-statistics-total-quarterback-rating
- QB FUM% is a statistics that I have calculated based on this equation, (rush fumbles + sack fumbles)/(rush attempts + sacks)
1. Where do I start? I could talk about the fact that every QB that struggled in week 1, bounced back in week 2. How about the fact that this week RG3 is the only QB to throw an interception (last week he was the only one who didn't).
What about Weeden? He was the worst performer in this group last week, yet he was arguably the best this week. This type of inconsistency is why I do not support making weekly attribute (rating) adjustments in Madden NFL. BTW - This doesn't just happen to rookies, even veterans have ups and downs.
You can see that both Weeden and Tannehill got trashed in Update #3. Now what? Does Donny put them right back to where they were after these good performances? (Madden fans will expect that - See here)
Wouldn't it have been better to let three to four weeks pass before making these adjustments. It seems like a waste of time to keep bouncing a player back and forth. Let the games play out and the player will reveal themselves, good or bad. I feel very confident that a four week sample will more accurate and less volatile than a one week sample.
People say to me, "We don't want updates every four weeks, because we will be stuck with inaccurate ratings for too long." My reply to that is, you already have inaccurate attribute ratings. Think about this, if EA releases the new roster on a Saturday and you play one day with the "so-called" accurate player ratings, don't they become inaccurate after the games are played on Sunday?
Example: On Saturday you played with the decreased version of Weeden, but one day later he had an very good performance. What Weeden do you want to play with now - the pre-decrease version or the decreased version? I bet you want to play with the pre-decrease Weeden. The same could be said about Tannehill. This type of thing happens all the time and it's why I believe looking at a larger sample size will bring both accuracy and stability to the Madden 13 player ratings. The truth is, Weeden and Tannehill are not as bad as their week 1 performances would indicate and they probably are not as good as their week 2 performances.
I don't know about you, but I'm very curious to see what they do in week 3 and 4. Two more games will only reveal more about these players.
2. Here is another interesting tidbit. All of these rookies had at least one fumble in week 1, but none them had a fumble in week 2. Only Russell Wilson received a carry (CAR) decrease for his fumble. I don't believe the CAR attribute should change weekly. Donny did a good job correcting the CAR attributes in the off-season, but has now falling back into his old habits.
I would evaluate the CAR attribute twice during the season, after 8 games and at the end of the season. In the long run this will save time and produce more accuracy due to having a larger sample. If Donny feels like he must adjust the CAR attribute every week, at least be consistent in doing so. Why was Wilson the only rookie QB do receive a CAR decrease when all of them had at least one fumble in week 1 (Weeden had two)?
3. Did you notice that three QB's received a boost in AWR after week 1? Those three QB's were: RG3, Tannehill, and Weeden. You might be thinking, "how in the hell can Weeden and Tannehill get an increase in AWR?" Simple, the OVR formula is trash and Donny had to give those increases to prevent too much decrease in OVR. This type of manipulation takes place all year long and it's why I would like to see an independent ranking system with no connection to attributes.
4. The year to date ESPN Total QBR rating is very interesting to say the least. While Luck and RG3 are off the charts, Tannehill and especially Weeden are in the tank. Wilson is in the midde at 37.8.
Here are three high profile QB's and their year to date ESPN QBR:
Vick - 48.3
Brady - 48
Rodgers - 44.6
I encourage you read about the ESPN QBR (http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/6833215/explaining-statistics-total-quarterback-rating). Here is an excerpt:
"What underlies QBR is an understanding of how football works and a lot of detailed situational data. What it yields are results that should reflect that. It illustrates that converting on third-and-long is important to a quarterback. It shows that a pass that is in the air for 40 yards is more reflective of a quarterback than a pass that is in the air for 5 yards and the receiver has 35 yards of run after the catch. These premises should sound reasonable to football fans. They come out of a lot of statistical analysis, but they are also consistent with what coaches and players understand."
I think QBR is hard to put into an attribute, but I think it could come in handy for an independent ranking system. This is the type of rating that could help a real ratings team (multiple analyst) determine who is the #1 QB when you can't decide between Brady, Manning, or Rodgers. The great thing about an independent ranking system is there is no connection to attributes, so there won't be any bloated attributes just to push up OVR. Attributes should be based on reality and should be as accurate as possible.
Attribute accuracy should not be a popularity contest.
5. Looking ahead, I think RG3 will continue to have early season success until he goes up against a legitimate defense in week 7. So far he has faced the 24th (STL) and 32nd (NO) overall defenses. From week 7 on, his schedule gets very difficult. Look for him to struggle once he hits that "Giant Wall".
Here is RG3's schedule from week 7 on:
|7||Sun, Oct 21||1:00 PM FOX||Tickets|
|8||Sun, Oct 28||1:00 PM FOX||Tickets|
|9||Sun, Nov 4||1:00 PM FOX||Tickets|
|11||Sun, Nov 18||1:00 PM FOX||Tickets|
|12||Thu, Nov 22||4:15 PM FOX||Tickets|
|13||Mon, Dec 3||8:30 PM||Tickets|
|14||Sun, Dec 9||1:00 PM CBS||Tickets|
|15||Sun, Dec 16||1:00 PM FOX||Tickets|
|16||Sun, Dec 23||1:00 PM FOX||Tickets|
|17||Sun, Dec 30||1:00 PM FOX||Tickets|
Cleveland is the weakest defense on that list, followed by Carolina. So while fans are praising RG3 right now, they may be signing a different tune later in the season. Of course, I may be wrong and he might just roll through all of them.
Luck has the most favorable schedule going forward, with the best defense coming in week 15 and 17. Here it is:
As with any rookie, all of us should expect ups and downs when it comes to these five QB's. I am looking forward to following all of them with you.
Thanks for reading my blog. Please leave comments, good or bad. I welcome all feedback and I am always looking for ways to improve.