By Aaron Schatz
Special to Page 2

Note: Go to the bottom of the table for a more complete explanation of how Aaron's QB rating system works.

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    Quarterback Skinny DPAR
    1. Peyton Manning
    27/39, 368 yards
    2 TDs, 0 INTs
    No other player combines so much natural talent with such a deep understanding of the game, and yet no matter how impressive his statistics he's got one team he just cannot beat. Since the Patriots are Peyton's daddy, that makes him Pedro Martinez. 17.4
    2. Joey Harrington
    18/22, 230 yards
    2 TDs, 0 INTs
    Filled with such promise when he entered the league, he's never quite put it together to be a star, much like former Minor League Player of the Year Gabe Kapler. A few more games like yesterday, though, and he gets raised to Trot Nixon status. 13.4
    3. Trent Green
    20/27, 269 yards
    0 TDs, 0 INTs
    How can he have such a high rating with no TDs? Easy, all his passing put Holmes and Blaylock in position to score. So, that makes him the setup man, just like Mike Timlin. 12.1
    4. Brett Favre
    23/29, 258 yards
    2 TDs, 0 INTs
    A grizzled star veteran and no injury can keep him out. He's Curt Schilling, of course. 11.4
    5. Donovan McNabb
    28/43, 376 yards
    4 TDs, 1 INTs
    Bronson Arroyo. Cornrows! 10.7
    6. Aaron Brooks
    23/39, 282 yards
    1 TD, 0 INTs
    Doug Mientkiewicz. See Jake Delhomme. 9.8
    7. Marc Bulger
    23/39, 295 yards
    1 TD, 1 INT
    Bulger actually had a pretty good game, despite the loss to Miami (which has a very good D, so Bulger's rating gets adjusted upwards). St. Louis lost this game with poor defense, not with Bulger. So don't blame him. Just like you don't blame Albert Pujols for St. Louis' Game 2 loss. 9.5
    8. Tom Brady
    20/29, 230 yards
    1 TD, 0 INT
    The undisputed leader of his team, his fans say he's the best in the league at his position even if he doesn't have the best statistics. He's Jason Varitek. 9.2
    9. Byron Leftwich
    23/30, 300 yards
    2 TDs, 1 INT
    Keith Foulke, because he's the closer. 8.5
    10. Vinny Testaverde
    23/35, 308 yards
    1 TD, 0 INTs
    He's been around forever and never seems that impressive but always keeps his team in the game. Hello, Tim Wakefield. 7.9
    11. Chad Pennington
    19/30, 162 yards
    0 TDs, 0 INTs
    Young, talented, and not quite ready for prime time, just like Cardinals top prospect and temporary middle reliever Dan Haren. 7.3
    12. Jeff Garcia
    21/32, 236 yards
    1 TD, 1 INT
    During his San Francisco days, despite impressive numbers, he never really got the acclaim as one of the NFL's best QBs, just like Edgar Renteria has always been underrated next to Jeter, A-Rod, Nomar, and Tejada. 7.0
    13. Duante Culpepper
    24/30, 183 yards
    1 TD, 0 INTs
    An almost unstoppable offensive force, with one problem: sometimes he just can't hold onto the ball. He's Manny Ramirez. 6.9
    14. Brian Griese
    15/23, 163 yards
    1 TD, 0 INTs
    He's a starter! He's a reliever! He's great! He's horrible! You never know what you'll get! He's Derek Lowe. 5.4
    15. Kerry Collins
    26/45, 350 yards
    2 TDs, 1 INT
    Bears an actual resemblance to Mark Bellhorn. 5.3
    16. Drew Brees
    21/32, 196 yards
    0 TDs, 0 INTs
    He was terrible early in the year, now he's playing well, but he probably won't be staying in town long because of a prized prospect waiting in the wings. He's Orlando Cabrera with Philip Rivers in the role of Hanley Ramirez. 5.0
    17. Jay Fiedler
    13/17, 203 yards
    2 TDs, 0 INT
    Like Jason Marquis, he was a backup on another team before becoming a starter with his current team. 4.1
    18. Josh McCown
    22/36, 212 yards
    1 TD, 1 INT
    Analysts don't seem to think much of him but the Cardinals insist he's an important part of why they win, which is what Tony LaRussa says about Mike Matheny. 1.8
    19. Jonathan Quinn
    5/9, 47 yards
    0 TD, 0 INTs
    If you're a Bears fan wondering why this guy is still starting, find a Cardinals fan and say, "So, how about that So Taguchi starting Game 1?" -0.4
    20. Kurt Warner
    23/34, 270 yards
    1 TD, 1 INT
    In younger days, he put up numbers that looked fictional in a stadium built for offense. Then, after suffering through injuries, he's with a new team and winning again. He's Larry Walker. -2.2
    21. Jake Delhomme
    17/36, 155 yards
    0 TDs, 1 INT
    Stuck on the bench in New Orleans, he never got a chance to play regularly. Became a free agent, went to a different team, and carried them to the brink of a championship. He's David Ortiz. (This makes Aaron Brooks into Doug Mientkeiwcz) -3.5
    22. Kyle Boller
    10/19, 86 yards
    0 TDs, 0 INTs
    Unimpressive statistics but the rest of his team drags him along to more than his share of wins, just like Jeff Suppan. -3.6
    23. Craig Krenzel
    9/19, 60 yards
    0 TD, 1 INT
    If Jonathan Quinn is So Taguchi, he's Taguchi's replacement in Game 2, Marlon Anderson. -4.4
    24. Michael Vick
    7/21, 119 yards
    0 TDs, 2 INTs
    Does breathtaking things on the field but always puts himself at risk for injury with his spectacular plays. He's Jim Edmonds. Conveniently, Edmonds was also terrible on Sunday, 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. -9.0
    25. Matt Hasselbeck
    14/41, 195 yards
    1 TD, 4 INTs
    Well, he's not Johnny Damon. He's had amazing numbers in the past but was abysmal Sunday, which also describes Cards' pitcher Matt Morris. -11.5
    26. Drew Bledsoe
    20/36, 203 yards
    0 TDs, 4 INTs
    Immobile. Just like Kevin Millar. -12.2
    27. Billy Volek
    17/36, 190 yards
    0 TDs, 3 INTs
    The last-minute replacement for another player who got injured. He's Al Reyes. -12.5

    How DPAR (Defense-adjusted Points Above Replacement) works

    The success of each play is judged based on yardage gained towards both a touchdown and a first down. Then each play gets compared to the NFL average on similar plays, based on down, distance, and other variables. Quarterbacks are judged not based on how many yards they get, but on how important those yards are in the context of the game.

    Ratings are also adjusted for the quality of the opposing defense. The quarterback's performance is then translated into an approximate number of actual points that such success (or failure) is worth when compared to a "replacement level" quarterback (defined as any quarterback named "Billy Joe").

    When all offensive, defensive, and special teams plays are added together for one team, the result comes very close to the actual difference between points scored and allowed.

    Among the advantages of this system:

    1. Gives value for first downs, which are not really included in any other QB rating system but are hugely important.

    2. Does not punish quarterbacks who are always in bad field position because of a poor defense, nor does it punish quarterbacks who are always stuck in third-and-long because of a poor running game.

    3. With enough data to begin including defensive adjustment, quarterbacks receive bonuses when they play well against good defenses, and they don't get rated as world-beaters when they shred the 49ers

    4. Includes both passing and rushing plays, which obviously helps a QB like Michael Vick.

    5. DPAR punishes quarterbacks for turnovers but also for fumbles that his own team recovers. Different kind of fumbles have different penalties depending on how often defense recovers for a turnover. Sacks are punished as well.

    6. 5-yard scramble on 3rd-and-10? Worthless!

    7. Actual points! Easy to understand!

    An even longer explanation of these numbers can be found here.

    Aaron Schatz is editor-in-chief of


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