There’s not much of a debate whether quarterback is the most important position in professional football - most certainly it is - particularly as the NFL has changed the rules over the years to favor passing. The quarterback is the only position other than center that touches the ball every play (wildcat and special teams plays aside), and his ability to distribute the ball effectively is critical to the offense- and scoring the points needed to win the game.
In fact, the prominence of the quarterback position, particularly when it comes to highlight reels and media lionization of QBs like Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning, has given rise to the debate about whether wins are indeed a QB stat, and not a team stat as is more commonly thought of, simply because of the importance of the performance coming from the quarterback position.
And so in this Great Eight week of the NFL playoffs, yours truly at the Daily Norseman and K. Joudry over at Purple PTSD have agreed to engage in the Great Eight Debate: Are wins a QB stat?
K. Joudry is the managing editor for Purple PTSD. He began cheering for the Vikings when the Williams Wall was in town. You can follow him on Twitter @VikingsGazette. Yours truly has been writing for the DN since 2015 and has been a Vikings fan since the 1970s. You can follow me on Twitter @wludford.
Are Wins a QB Stat?
We know stats like passer rating, adjusted net yards per attempt or ANY/A, TD/INT ratio, QB PFF grade, QB DVOA, EPA, CPOE, WPA, and QBR are all quarterback-centric stats, but what about wins or winning percentage?
Central to the debate over whether wins are in fact a QB stat, rather than a team stat, is to what extent a quarterback’s performance is elevated by the team around him, versus to what extent a quarterback’s performance elevates the team around him.
Other factors may be at play as well - things like coaching and game planning, salary cap and drafting, QB clutch-play ability and field generalship, injuries, luck, and favorable calls.
A quarterback may be influential in all these factors to one degree or another, but ultimately are wins a product of that influence, or are they still a product of the overall team more so than the guy behind center?
K. Joudry and I will debate all that in next installment of this 3-part series, with myself defending the wins as a team stat side, while K. Joudry will be arguing that wins are indeed a QB stat.
Our main arguments will be published on Wednesday on both websites, and a follow-up on Friday.