Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Madden 13 Player Spotlight: Rookie (starting) Quarterbacks - WEEK 3

Week 3 in the NFL was crazy to say the least.  It was capped of with one of the worst calls in NFL history, when Seattle was awarded a last second TD on what should have been called an interception.  One of our rookie QB's (Russell Wilson) was right in the middle of the controversy.  

This is the 3rd blog post in my rookie quarterback series (Here is the first and Here is the 2nd ).  I am 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 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 3 and year to date. 

- Deep Accuracy (DAC) statistics were gathered from  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 statistic that is defined as "The percentage of dropbacks under pressure per total dropbacks."

ESPN QBR statistics can be found here: and the QBR is explained here:

QB FUM% is a statistics that I have calculated based on this equation, (rush fumbles + sack fumbles)/(rush attempts + sacks)



1.  After three games, some trends appear to be developing, such as:  Weeden's low deep accuracy or Griffin's great interception rate.  After week four, I will give my suggested decreases/increases to these five rookies.  I believe splitting the season into (4) four week evaluation periods will result in more accurate and consistent player ratings.  Every four weeks will be 25% of their season (assuming they play 16 games), and while it's a small sample for a veteran, it's a large sample for a rookie.  

Not all of these players will adjust to the NFL the same way.  Some of them will take a longer period of time to adjust, and others may never make a successful transition from college to pro.

2.    Notice that in the week 3 update, both Tannehill and Weeden received increases.  The previous week, they received decreases.  The ups and downs of the "typical" rookie QB will be many.  I do not support decreasing a rookie one week, just to increase them the next.  Poor games are to be expected, and with the exception of Luck and Griffin, the expectations were not high for the other three quarterbacks.  Is it fair to say an average QB's like:  Weeden, Tannehill, and Wilson are going to struggle at times.  If OVR means anything, why would you need to decrease a 74 OVR player who had a poor game?  Coming into Madden 13, the average OVR for a QB was 73.5, therefore Weeden and Tannehill have to be considered average (by Madden standards).  Also, does one good game justify and increase to an average player?  I don't think so.

I believe a larger sample size will allow these ups and downs to balance out.  If a player is truly average, a four game sample will indicate that.  If the player excels over a four game period, an increase can be justified.  If a player is below average over a four game period, a decrease can be just justified.

3.  One of the most important questions that the Madden ratings "team" should ask prior to increasing any attribute is, "What attributes has player A outperformed over the last four games?"  This has the be the first question asked (Please note - the opposite should be asked when considering a decrease).  If a player A currently has an 80 DAC, the game tape and the statistics need to support any increase.  

If the Madden 13 DAC average is 70, than any QB near the NFL average in the deep passing statistic should be rated at or near a 70 in DAC.  

Below is the combined deep accuracy statistics for all NFL QB's the last four years.  I gathered these statistics from :

The player ratings team could use statistics like this to generate a benchmark that players are required to exceed prior to receiving an above average DAC.  This is a very fair statistic, especially since "catchable" drops are credited to the QB as a completion.  The 3 and 4 year totals are very close, so I would use 40% as the benchmark number.

If you look back at the year to date statistics for our five rookies, you can easily see who is above or below average in deep passing (at this point).  Again, I would make any adjustments until after week four.  I would reevaluate the player after their 8th game, and repeat this every 4 games.  This type of rating procedure would give the player the opportunity to improve throughout the year, or even digress.  For a rookie, every week is drastically changing their career statistics.  As the season progressing, the changes become less drastic.  

For veteran players, I recommend using their last 3 years worth of statistics as a starting point and adjusting as needed using the same four week evaluation period.  The previous seasons should be considered before making any drastic changes.  Veterans have proven themselves over a longer period of time, therefore they shouldn't require drastic adjustments over a short period of time.  

Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule.  An exception might be, a veteran backup who finally earns a starting job and begins accumulating a larger sample of statistics and game tape.  It only makes sense to consider this increase in playing time and evaluate the attributes accordingly.

Last, but not least.  You must have a true ratings team with multiple individuals to make something like this work.  Everyone would be trained and required to use the same procedures for said attribute(s).  The entire team will come together to finalize all attribute changes, which will provide accountability to each individual player rater.


I hope you are enjoying this series.  Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.  I can't wait to see what week 4 brings.  Are we going to hold the old referees under the same microscope that the replacements were under?  Maybe, we will find out that even the old referees make horrible calls.  I don't think any of us will ever look at a penalty the same way or a replay for that matter.  I believe from hear on out, all NFL officials will feel more pressure, the entire country will be watching.

Thanks for following my blog and have a great Thursday.

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