FanPost

NFL MVP: Brees vs Rodgers

I wanted to take a look at the stats comparing Brees and Rodgers. I wanted to look at the numbers of each quarterback, besides the obvious stats.

I created several tables.

Table 1 contained each quarterback's stats for yards, attempts, yards/attempt, completion percentage, touchdowns, interceptions, and QB rating

Table 2 contained each quarterback's stats for yards/game, attempts/game, touchdowns/game, and interceptions/game

Table 3: For the Table 3 I went through and counted the total number of drives each quarterback conducted, subtracting drives that involved taking a knee (or 3 plays and a knee) at the end of a half and drives led by Flynn or Daniels. I then put each quarterback's yards, attempts, touchdowns, and interceptions on a per drive basis.

Table 4 contained the numbers from Table 3 and calculated out to 150 drives. I chose 150 drives as the average season, so the numbers in that table show how each quarterback would differ from the other based on the performance from this season and an even number of drives for each quarterback.

Table 5 contained the average line of scrimmage (LOS) for each team and then showed how many more yards one quarterback had to work with over the course of a 150 possession season

Table 1: Each quarterback's stats for yards, attempts, yards/attempt, completion percentage, touchdowns, interceptions, QB rating

Originalstats_medium

Table 2: Each quarterback's stats for yards/game, attempts/game, touchdowns/game, and interceptions/game

Pergame_medium

Table 3: Total number of drives each quarterback conducted, subtracting drives that involved taking a knee (or 3 plays and a knee type situation) and drives led by Flynn or Daniels. I then put each quarterback's yards, attempts, touchdowns, and interceptions on a per drive basis. Drew Brees had 164 total possessions and Aaron Rodgers had 141 total possessions.

Perdrive_medium

Table 4: The numbers from Table 3 and calculated out to 150 drives. I chose 150 drives as the average season, so the numbers in that table show how each quarterback would differ from the other based on the performance from this season and an even number of drives for each quarterback.

Per150drives_medium

Table 5: The average line of scrimmage (LOS) for each team and then showed how many more yards Brees had to work with over the course of a 150 game season.

Lineofscrimmage_medium

Conclusion:

The plain stats would conclude that Brees had a significant number of more yards on many more attempts than Rodgers, 1 more touchdown, 7 more interceptions, a higher completion percentage, and a much lower QB rating. All of those numbers, despite the advantage of working with 23 more possessions than Rodgers.

However, when looking at the numbers on a per game basis, there isn't such a large gap. Then when looking at the numbers on a per drive basis, there is an even smaller gap. Brees throws for .4 more yards than Rodgers, on .45 more attempts, while throwing .04 less touchdowns than Rodgers, and .04 more interceptions than Rodgers. To put those numbers into something a little more understandable, I extrapolated those numbers out to what I considered an average season of 150 drives. Those results are the really telling numbers. If each QB had the same number of possessions, Brees would throw for only 69 more yards in an entire season, while throwing 67 more passes. Despite the obvious disadvantage of throwing the ball 67 less times, Rodgers would still throw 6 more touchdowns than Brees. Brees would also throw 5-6 more interceptions than Rodgers. Based on the 150 possession projections Brees would throw for 69 more yards over the course of the season, despite having 259.5 more yards to work with, due to the Packers 1.7 yards closer to the end zone average starting field position.

Oh yeah and because I saw a post on Canal Street Chronicles about how Rodgers QB rating is drastically inflated because the Packer defense creates so many turnovers that a lot of his touchdown passes actually came on much shorter drives, I went through every scoring drive of each quarterback's touchdown passes and found the average line of scrimmage for them.

Brees:31.95 yard line

Rodgers: 33.89 yard line

Drew Brees was placed at the huge disadvantage of traveling 1.94 yards every time he threw a touchdown pass, hardly a worth while point considering his average touchdown pass was 16.85 yards.

One more thing:

The Packers scored 56 touchdowns (rushing + passing) while Rodgers was quarterback on 141 possessions. While the Saints scored 62 touchdowns on 164 possessions under Drew Brees.

Than means that the Packers scored touchdowns on 39.7% of their possessions with Rodgers under center and the Saints scored touchdowns on 37.8% of their possessions with Brees under center. This isn't a huge discrepancy, it only equates to 2.85 more touchdowns for the Packers on a 150 possession season, however that's another notch for Rodgers.

When looking at a per drive basis and making each player play with an equal number of drives, I don't see a single stat that Drew Brees is better than Rodgers in, especially because he would have averaged 69 more yards on 67 more attempts and 259.5 more yards to work with. Put another way, Brees averaged 0.4 yards per drive passing more than Rodgers, despite 1.7 more yards to work with.

14-1 > 13-3

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