Tom Brady was best QB in 2010
New England veteran tops according to new quarterback rating system
The Total Quarterback Rating is a statistical measure that incorporates the contexts and details of throws and what they mean for wins. It's built from the team level down to the quarterback, where we understand first what each play means to the team, then give credit to the quarterback for what happened on a play based on what he contributed.
Total QBR Basics
A quick primer on the fundamentals of Total Quarterback Rating:
Scoring: 0-100, from low to high. An average QB would be at 50.
Win Probability: All QB plays are scored based on how much they contribute to a win. By determining expected point totals for almost any situation, Total QBR is able to apply points to a quarterback based on every type of play he would be involved in.
Dividing Credit: Total QBR factors in such things as overthrows, underthrows, yards after the catch and more to accurately determine how much a QB contributes to each play.
Clutch Index: How critical a certain play is based on when it happens in a game is factored into the score.
At the team level, identifying what wins games is not revolutionary: scoring points and not allowing points. In the 1980s, "The Hidden Game of Football" did some pioneering work on that topic and how yardage relates to points.
We went back and updated what that book did then we went further. At the individual level, more detailed information about what quarterbacks do is really necessary. Brian Burke at AdvancedNFLStats.com has done very good work in advancing that effort, and FootballOutsiders.com has done some of this by charting data. And over the past three years, ESPN has charted football games in immense detail.
By putting all these ideas together and incorporating a division of credit, we have built a metric of quarterback value, the Total Quarterback Rating, either Total QBR or QBR for short.
QBR Leaders: 2010 Season
In 2010, Tom Brady was clearly ahead of the field in QBR.