Thursday, September 27, 2012

Madden 13 Roster update #5 (WEEK 4) - What positions are getting the most attention and which are getting overlooked.

First the good news.  If you haven't heard, the real NFL referees were back at work today.  The labor dispute was settled late last night, which allowed them to get on a plane and call tonight's game between the Ravens and Browns.  All NFL fans and players should be extremely happy right now.  Let me say for all of us, "It's about time."

I digress.  Back to the topic at hand.

On Friday, EA Sports will release another roster update for Madden 13 (Here is EA's Blog).  This was the biggest increase/decrease update since the regular season began.  Their blog contains the typical OVR increase and decrease information with a few carry (CAR) attribute adjustments noted.  Noting the few CAR adjustments was EA's weak attempt to share more attribute information with the fans.  The bottom line is Donny and EA know what attributes are being changed on a weekly basis, yet refuse to share that information with fans.  Yes, you can jump back and forth between rosters and figure it out (that is how I do it), but they know most fans won't spend the time necessary to find these adjustments.  That last thing they want to show fans is what they are really adjusting to manipulate OVR.  I will continue to share as many attribute changes as I can every week - since EA won't do it.  I don't have time to do every position each week, but will rotate through all positions.  Here are my first two attribute adjustment blogs (Week 3 and Week 2)

For this blog, I will update you on the OVR changes that have taken place since the Week 2 update.  I started at week two, because that is the first update after the regular season began.    

Below is a table I created to track ALL increases and decreases (based on OVR only) that EA reveals to us on their website.  This table will allow you to see what positions are getting the most increases, decreases, and which ones are being overlooked all together.


* Remember - I don't support weekly "kneejerk" attribute adjustments.  I would like to see players evaluated with bigger sample sizes prior to increasing/decreasing an attribute.  That said, EA is not going to change any time soon, so we need to evaluate what they are doing on a weekly basis.  Accuracy and consistency should always be their primary goal, even if they insist on a using small sample sizes.

1.  You can see that this update (Week 4) was over double that of last week.  While there was a increase in the percentage of decreases this week, it's still no where near balanced.  Like I said last week, decreases will not make you any friends, but they are just as important as increases if your ultimate goal is consistency and accuracy.  Currently, EA's goal is not consistency or accuracy.  Since week 2, for every two increases in OVR, there is only one decrease.  If this trend keeps up, there will be a bunch of overrated players who never received the decreases they deserved.    

2.  Notice WR's can do no wrong, but the CB's who cover them are almost twice as likely to receive a decrease.  As a matter of fact, the CB position is the most balanced defensive position when it comes to percentage of increases to decreases.  Should WR and CB be exactly the same?  No, but I think the gap should be much closer.

3.  The Offensive Lineman (OL) have the most balance for increases to decreases (56% to 44%).  On the other hand, their counterparts on the Defensive Line (DL) receive 69% increases to only 31% decreases.  Think about it.  Is it really possible that so many DL's are excelling, while at the same time very few are struggling?  I encourage all of you to check out, they hand out plenty of negative grades to Defensive lineman.  By the way, they also hand out plenty of negative grades on every other position.  Why PFF?  Because EA's Ratings person Donny Moore has stated multiple times that PFF is one of his most trusted sources for player analysis.  If this is true, why does he ignore the negative grades and statistics that they provide?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Maybe you could ask him on twitter @Donny_Moore?  

4.  What the hell is up with the TE position?  85% total increases is not a typo.  FYI - has 27 TE's with a positive grade and 27 TE's with a negative grade through week 3.  That is exactly 50/50.  It's one thing to tout a source as one of your most reliable, it's another to actually apply that information to Madden Ratings.


Here are some interesting numbers.

In the week 4 update:

6 players received an increase this week after receiving a decrease last week.
8 players received a decrease this week after receiving an increase last week.
20 players received an increase this week and last week.
6 players received a decrease this week and last week.
40 players received either an increase or decrease this week and last.

Since the week 2 update:

12 players have been adjusted three weeks in a row.  They are:

Increased all 3 weeks:  Anthony Hawkins (WR, CIN), Brandon Myers (TE, OAK), Daryl Washington (LB, ARZ), J.J. Watt (DE, HOU), Jerrell Freeman (LB, IND), and KJ Wright (LB, SEA)

Decreased all 3 weeks:  Chris Johnson (RB, TEN) and Nate Clements (CB, CIN)

Decreased week 2, increased week 3, decreased week 4:  Mitchell Schwartz (OL, CLV) and Mike Vick (QB, PHI)

Increased week 2, decreased week 3, increased week 4:  Aqib Talib (CB, TB)

Decreased week 2, increased both week 3 and 4:  Andy Dalton (QB, CIN)

By evaluating players on a 4 games basis, the EA's ratings "team" could save time during the week.  This time could be used to universally correct inaccurate attributes such as:  CAT, CIT, TAK, DAC, KAC, etc, etc.. 

What I mean by universally correcting an attribute, is that a procedure would be put into place that would objectively apply to all players on all teams.  This could be a formula with statistics to determine a particular attribute (example - CAT and drop %).  A range would be developed and players would be rated based on reality and their actual performance.  No more adjusting an attribute just to manipulate OVR.  


Final Thoughts:

Right now EA is using social media like facebook and twitter to make player ratings a popularity contest.  I completely disagree with this type of player rating.  As a matter of fact, based on my blog poll (right side of the page), only 5% of voters believe fan input should be the most important factor in Madden Ratings.  76% believe statistics should be the most important factor.  Is EA confused here?  Even fans don't want other fans giving input.  Most fans can not be objective in regards to their favorite team or a despised rival.  

Have you ever wondered why the Madden Ratings System hasn't been overhauled in years?  Other aspects of Madden get addressed when a new title comes out, but nothing changes when it comes to ratings.  Player ratings are not a priority at community day events, nor has it received the proper representation at those events.  

Does EA really think there is nothing to fix in regards to player ratings/attributes?  I sure hope not, because I've spent over 10 months blogging about the inconsistency and inaccuracy in their ratings and have practically begged them to provide fans with their policies and procedures for Player ratings.  Other websites point out the inaccuracies and inconsistencies as well.  

Unfortunately, EA doesn't have any procedures that are objectively applied to ALL players and teams.  How do I know that, because I look beyond OVR and into the attributes.  The inaccuracy of Madden player ratings is crystal clear if your look beyond OVR.  

Thanks for following my blog.  My next post will be breaking down the attribute changes after the update goes live.

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.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Madden 13 Week 3 Roster Update - What really happened? All attribute changes for QB, DL, and S.

Well... Another week has passed and that means EA Sports has released another roster update for Madden 13 (Here is EA's Blog).  The good news, is that Donny Moore made fewer rating adjustments this week.   There were many uniform adjustments, especially helmets.

I have gathered some very interesting numbers for this week's blog post.  I will also be looking at individual positions and what attributes were really changed to manipulate the OVR.  If you missed last week's blog on the attribute changes, Click Here.

Below is a table I created to track ALL increases and decreases (based on OVR only) that EA reveals to us on their website.  This table is rather shocking, here it is:


1.  The first set of tables is from the week 2 update, the second set is from week 3.  The last set of tables is the combination of the two.  I will continue to track these numbers as the season progresses.

2.  You can see that there were (roughly) half the changes in week 3 when compared to week 2.  Is this a new trend?  Only time will tell, but if it is a sign of things to come, it's a good thing.  Fewer "knee jerk" ratings is always a good thing.

3.  It's clear that EA (Donny) is reluctant to give players a decrease.  So far, over 70% of all adjustments have been increases.  While this doesn't show each individual player or attribute changed, it's still disturbing.

Is Donny trying to avoid the negative feedback of giving decreases?  I sure hope not.  Assigning player ratings and attributes is not about making friends or keeping the fans off your back.  It's about accuracy.

4.  Does it surprise you that offense is getting more attention than defense?  It shouldn't.  Madden has been all about offense over the last several years.  Offense may be more exciting to some people, but defense is 50% of the game.  I would like to see more balance between offense and defense in regards to rating changes.

5.  Under the microscope.  The OL and CB position have the highest percent of decrease for their respective side of the ball.  Does this mean their ratings were just way off to begin the year, of does Donny pay closer attention to the negative statistics at these positions?  Since this is only the second update (based on regular season games), I will wait a few more weeks before answering that question.


Inside the numbers - There were 126 players who received rating adjustments for the week 3 update (based on the information EA released).  Out of those 126 players, 44 (35%) players were adjusted the previous week as well.  Out of those 44 players:  27 received back to back increases, 3 received back to back decreases, 6 were increased last week only to be decreased this week, and 8 were decreased last week only to be increased this week.

So, 14 players got adjusted in the opposite direction after just one week.

This illustrates that Donny is much more likely to increase a player than to decrease one.  Giving 27 players back to back increases to only 3 back to back decreases should raise an eyebrow.  Maybe, this was just pure coincidence, but I doubt it.

Would evaluating players every four weeks result in more accuracy and stability in Madden player ratings?  I believe it would.  That is why I will continue to push EA to evaluate players based on a larger sample size.


Week 3 Quarterback (QB) attribute adjustments:

* CAR does not effect the QB overall (OVR).


1.  Dalton, Weeden, Vick, and Tannehill all received decreases in the week 2 update, but got increases this week.  This is "knee jerk" rating at it's best.

Peyton Manning just received an increase last week, only to get decreased this week.  Did he have a bad game on MNF?  Yes.  So far he has had one solid game and one poor game, maybe it would be better to wait 3 to 4 weeks before dishing out increases and decreases.

2.  Notice AWR was the only thing Tannehill received a boost in (which is basically worthless).  Adjusting AWR is the easiest way to show an OVR increase or decrease.  Since many Madden fans don't look beyond OVR, EA can get away with this type of rating adjustment.  This is the "keep the fans happy" rating increase.

3.  Want hear something funny?  According to, Matt Ryan has only attempted 3 passes of 20 or more yards downfield in the first two games of the season.  One of those attempts was dropped and the two others went incomplete.  Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't see how those numbers deserve a +2 to the DAC attribute.  Ponder is 1 for 3 on deep passing as well this season and he received a 1 point increase to his DAC.  I don't think either has earned an increase in that attribute yet.

4.  Prior to this update, Russell Wilson only had a 49 (Play Action) PAC.  This week he received an 18 point increase to raise his PAC to 67 (which is still poor by Madden 13 standards).  Prior to this update, Wilson had one of the lowest PAC ratings in all of Madden 13.  The interesting part is that Donny felt the need to reduce his mid-accuracy (MAC), most likely because it was just enough to keep his OVR from going up 3pts to 79.


Week 3 Defensive Linemen (DL) attribute adjustments:


1.  Not one decrease on the Dline this week???  I've got a DT to put on your "watch list" Donny.  How about Tyson Alualu?  He has received a -2.3 and -3.2 grade from PFF for the first two games of the season.  If you are going to give increases based on PFF analysis, then why not give decreases on that same analysis.

*I would recommend that EA start using a "watch list" to track players who are struggling or excelling.  Follow the player's progress over at least four games prior to adjusting attributes.

2.  Note, that every player on this list received an increase to AWR, but only five received an increase to PRC.  For defensive players, AWR is basically just a way to adjust OVR, play recognition (PRC) is what matters in regards to game-play.


Week 3 Safeties (SS & FS) attribute adjustments:


1.  McMillian, Jones, Moore, and Godfrey all had an interception last week and received an increase in their CAT attribute.  Obviously, there is no set amount for how much an interception will count toward the CAT (1, 2, or 3 in this case).

Six other safeties had an interception in week 2, but they did NOT receive an increase to their CAT attribute.  Those six players are:  Woodson (GB), DeCoud (ATL), Weedle (SD), Byrd (BUF), Goldson (SF), and Reed (BALT).  So why do some players get an increase to their CAT and others don't?  This is a question I would love for EA and Donny to answer.  Unfortunately, many direct questions about ratings get ignored.  Also, when would a CAT attribute go down for a defender?  I would assume it would happen it the player drops an interception.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen a website that tracks INT drops for defenders.

2.  Let's talk about the tackle (TAK) attribute, shall we.  Last year, PFF introduced a new statistic called "tackle efficiency".  It's the number of tackles a player makes per missed tackle.  I was really hoping EA would consider this statistic when rating the tackle attribute.  The number of tackles a player gets is one thing.  By utilizing missed tackles statistics you can actually determine which players are better in regards to the actually "act of tackling".  So far, EA has ignored this great statistic like the plague.

The three players who received a TAK increase this week are perfect examples of this.

Per PFF, Godfrey is one of the worst tacklers at his position so far this season (it's a small sample).  He has missed 7 tackles in 2 games, with 4 of those coming in week 2.  He is missing a tackle every 4 attempts according to PFF.  Moore is not much better, he is missing a tackle every 4.3 attempts.

Just how bad is that.  Consider this, the top 5 at the position in 2011 had a tackle efficiency of over 15.  So they were missing a tackle every 15 attempts.  A tackle efficiency near 4, puts you at the bottom of the league.

What about McMillian?  Well, he hasn't missed a tackle yet, but he has only attempted 2 so far this season.  Talk about a small sample size.

This is why you have to look deeper than just the surface numbers.  When statistics like TACKLE EFFICIENCY are available, they should be used to provide the most accurate Madden attributes possible.


I will add a few more positions over the next couple of days.  Thanks for following my blog.  It's time to stop the nonsense and start looking at large sample sizes when it comes to Madden 13 player ratings.

OVERRATED ATTRIBUTE of the week goes to LaRon Landry (FS, NYJ) and his 90 STR (strength).  Yes, I said 90.  I double checked it.  The next closest FS has a 74 STR.  The next closest SS has a 78 STR.  Get this, Ray Lewis is the strongest MLB at 90 STR.  The strongest LOLB only has an 86 STR.  Hell, until EA every fixes this one, put Landry at LB and enjoy.  To bad you can't use him at Defensive Tackle.  Wow!

UNDERRATED ATTRIBUTE of the week goes to Julius Peppers (DE, CHI) and his 68 (BSH) block shed attribute.  Believe it or not, this has been an issue for over 2 years and EA has refused to correct it.  I have blogged about this one and twitted the issue to EA and Donny.

Just the facts:

14 Cornerbacks, 24 Free Safeties, 37 Strong Safeties, and 70 Right Ends have a higher block shed (BSH) attribute than Julius Peppers.  Can this finally get corrected, once and for all?


*** Don't forget to check out my Madden 13 Rookie QB series:

I am following these rookies all season long.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Madden 13 Week 3 (Update #4) Roster Update

Here is the information EA released in regards to the newest (Week 3) Madden 13 Roster Update:

EA is still not providing the actual attribute changes in their update details.  I will be providing that information over the next couple of days.

What do you think about this update?  Feel free to leave a comment.

Don't forget to check out my archives for my most recent posts.

Have a great day and thank you for following my blog.


Update 9/22/12:  Here is my newest blog breaking down the attribute changes in the Week 3 Madden 13 roster update:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Madden 13 Player Spotlight: Rookie (starting) Quarterbacks - WEEK 2

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  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.  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 (  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:

7Sun, Oct 21 1:00 PM FOXTickets
8Sun, Oct 28 1:00 PM FOXTickets
9Sun, Nov 4 1:00 PM FOXTickets
11Sun, Nov 18 1:00 PM FOXTickets
12Thu, Nov 22 4:15 PM FOXTickets
13Mon, Dec 3 8:30 PMTickets
14Sun, Dec 9 1:00 PM CBSTickets
15Sun, Dec 16 1:00 PM FOXTickets
16Sun, Dec 23 1:00 PM FOXTickets
17Sun, Dec 30 1:00 PM FOXTickets

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.

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