Total QBR proves it's not Luck, he's good

October, 8, 2012
10/08/12
11:16
AM ET
Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesTotal QBR shows that Andrew Luck isn't just accumulating numbers, as he has come up big in the biggest situations.
Andrew Luck posted a Total QBR of 68.2 in Sunday's win over the Green Bay Packers, his third-straight game with a QBR of at least 65.

Through four games, he's gotten off to a much better start than the other quarterbacks taken first overall in the previous three seasons.

His 77.6 Total QBR is the best for any rookie quarterback through his first four starts since 2008.

PACKERS, RODGERS FAR FROM 2011 FORM
A year after starting the season 5-0 (and eventually reaching 13-0), Aaron Rodgers and the Packers fell to 2-3 with a loss at the Indianapolis Colts.

One major difference for Rodgers? The inability to hit big plays in the passing game.

Rodgers led the NFL in yards per attempt and 30-yard completions through Week 5 of 2011, but ranks outside the Top 20 in those categories this season.

QUICK HITTERS
• Drew Brees earned a season-high 83.7 Total QBR in his record-setting performance against the San Diego Chargers. It was his 31st game with a QBR of at least 80 since 2008, tied with Philip Rivers for second-most in the NFL. Only Rodgers has more over that span (33).

• Eli Manning posted a 95.2 Total QBR in the New York Giants win over the Cleveland Browns, his highest since Week 17 of 2010 at the Redskins (95.6). With the win, he improved to 30-0 in games with a Total QBR of at least 65 over the last five seasons.

• Alex Smith had an NFL Week-5 best 99.2 Total QBR in the San Francisco 49ers win over the Buffalo Bills. It was the highest QBR in a single game by a 49ers quarterback over the last five seasons. With one game remaining in Week 5, Smith leads the NFL with an 81.9 Total QBR this season. No 49ers quarterback has led the league in Total QBR at the end of any week over the last five seasons.

• Tom Brady posted an 82.1 Total QBR and Matt Ryan a 74.4 in their respective wins. Each player now has four games with a QBR of at least 70 this season, tied for most in the NFL. (Matt Schaub has three such games and is playing on Monday)

TOTAL QBR AND WINNING
Total QBR can be used to quantify just how important the quarterback position has become to winning in the NFL.

Looking back to previous years, the team with the higher Total QBR has won 86 percent of regular season games since 2008 (as far back as Total QBR goes). That is higher than the comparable mark for teams with the advantage in total yardage, turnover differential, and NFL passer rating.

Keep in mind that just because a team wins a game with a lower QBR than its opponent does not mean that Total QBR was "wrong" or not as good for that game.

That just means that the winning team was able to overcome its quarterback being outperformed by the opposing signal caller (on a rate basis), usually by playing better in other aspects of the game (rushing game, special teams, etc.).

Complete QBR statistics for all quarterbacks can be found here.

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