FanPost

Are the Titans winning/losing games because of QB play compared to how the rest of the league does?

I wanted to figure out a way to determine if the Titans poor season this year was due to poor QB play or just poor overall team play and compare it to how the rest of the league has done this year.

I decided to look to see which teams are winning (or losing) because of QB play and which teams are winning (or losing) regardless of how their respective QB plays. For me, if a team only wins games when the QB is playing well but loses them when the QB plays poorly, then that is not a good overall team as they are unable to pull out victories as a team. If a team can win games when the QB is playing poorly, then that team is an overall good team as defense, special teams, running game, etc have stepped up to make plays to win games.

To look at this, I decided to calculate the winning percentage for all teams for when their QB has a passer rating over 90 (considered "good" QB play) and the winning percentage for all teams when their QB has a passer rating less than 90 (considered "average or bad" QB play). Passer rating is a good indication of how a QB plays and has a good correlation to overall winning percentage. I used 90 as the cutoff as there are currently 12 QBs in the league with 90+ passer rating for the season, so it seemed like a good barometer of determining a "good" QB game (totally arbitrary though).

Here is the winning percentage of teams when their QB has a passer rating greater than 90:

Teams

G

W

L

T

Win Pct

New York Jets

3

3

0

0

1.000

Miami Dolphins

6

6

0

0

1.000

New England Patriots

6

6

0

0

1.000

St Louis Rams

6

6

0

0

1.000

New Orleans Saints

8

8

0

0

1.000

San Francisco 49ers

9

9

0

0

1.000

Seattle Seahawks

9

9

0

0

1.000

Arizona Cardinals

7

6

1

0

0.857

Carolina Panthers

7

6

1

0

0.857

Cincinnati Bengals

7

6

1

0

0.857

Green Bay Packers

7

6

1

0

0.857

Denver Broncos

14

12

2

0

0.857

Indianapolis Colts

6

5

1

0

0.833

Kansas City Chiefs

6

5

1

0

0.833

Buffalo Bills

5

4

1

0

0.800

Minnesota Vikings

4

3

0

1

0.750

Philadelphia Eagles

11

8

3

0

0.727

Detroit Lions

7

5

2

0

0.714

Chicago Bears

12

8

4

0

0.667

San Diego Chargers

11

7

4

0

0.636

Baltimore Ravens

5

3

2

0

0.600

New York Giants

4

2

2

0

0.500

Oakland Raiders

4

2

2

0

0.500

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

4

2

2

0

0.500

Dallas Cowboys

10

5

5

0

0.500

Pittsburgh Steelers

10

5

5

0

0.500

Cleveland Browns

5

2

3

0

0.400

Tennessee Titans

8

3

5

0

0.375

Atlanta Falcons

6

2

4

0

0.333

Washington Redskins

6

2

4

0

0.333

Houston Texans

4

1

3

0

0.250

Jacksonville Jaguars

4

1

3

0

0.250

Just some quick notes: the overall league average winning percentage when a QB has a passer rating greater than 90 is 0.715 or slightly greater than 70%. So, if your QB throws the ball well (high YPA, high TD-to-INT ratio), then your team typically wins.

Here is the winning percentage of teams when their QB has a passer rating less than 90:

Teams

G

W

L

T

Win Pct

Kansas City Chiefs

9

6

3

0

0.667

Carolina Panthers

8

5

3

0

0.625

Dallas Cowboys

5

3

2

0

0.600

Indianapolis Colts

9

5

4

0

0.556

Baltimore Ravens

10

5

5

0

0.500

New England Patriots

10

5

5

0

0.500

Arizona Cardinals

8

4

4

0

0.500

Cincinnati Bengals

8

4

4

0

0.500

Seattle Seahawks

6

3

3

0

0.500

Tennessee Titans

7

3

4

0

0.429

Pittsburgh Steelers

5

2

3

0

0.400

New York Giants

11

4

7

0

0.364

New York Jets

12

4

8

0

0.333

New Orleans Saints

7

2

5

0

0.286

Jacksonville Jaguars

11

3

8

0

0.273

Atlanta Falcons

8

2

6

0

0.250

Detroit Lions

8

2

6

0

0.250

Philadelphia Eagles

4

1

3

0

0.250

San Diego Chargers

4

1

3

0

0.250

Miami Dolphins

9

2

7

0

0.222

Buffalo Bills

10

2

8

0

0.200

Cleveland Browns

10

2

8

0

0.200

San Francisco 49ers

5

1

4

0

0.200

Oakland Raiders

11

2

9

0

0.182

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11

2

9

0

0.182

Green Bay Packers

8

1

6

1

0.125

St Louis Rams

9

1

8

0

0.111

Washington Redskins

9

1

8

0

0.111

Houston Texans

11

1

10

0

0.091

Minnesota Vikings

11

1

10

0

0.091

Chicago Bears

3

0

3

0

0.000

Denver Broncos

1

0

1

0

0.000

Just some quick notes: the overall league average winning percentage when a QB has a passer rating less than 90 is 0.310 or slightly greater than 30%. So, if your QB throws the ball poorly (low YPA, low TD-to-INT ratio), then your team typically loses.

I wanted to see which teams win games because of their QB and which teams win games regardless of their QB, so I looked at the difference in winning percentage between these two tables (win pct when a QB has passer rating greater than 90 minus win pct when a QB has passer rating less than 90) as well as the overall winning percentage of the team.

I then grouped the teams in terms of overall winning percentage and the winning percentage difference in QB play.

Here is the list of teams in those groupings (with explanations below):

Teams

Win PCT Differential

Total Win PCT

Group

Denver Broncos

0.857

0.800

A

San Francisco 49ers

0.800

0.714

A

New Orleans Saints

0.714

0.667

A

Chicago Bears

0.667

0.533

A

Miami Dolphins

0.778

0.533

B

Baltimore Ravens

0.100

0.533

B

St Louis Rams

0.889

0.467

B

Green Bay Packers

0.732

0.467

B

New York Jets

0.667

0.467

B

Buffalo Bills

0.600

0.400

B

Minnesota Vikings

0.659

0.267

B

Seattle Seahawks

0.500

0.800

C

Carolina Panthers

0.232

0.733

C

Kansas City Chiefs

0.167

0.733

C

New England Patriots

0.500

0.688

C

Arizona Cardinals

0.357

0.667

C

Cincinnati Bengals

0.357

0.667

C

Indianapolis Colts

0.278

0.667

C

Philadelphia Eagles

0.477

0.600

D

San Diego Chargers

0.386

0.533

D

Dallas Cowboys

-0.100

0.533

D

Detroit Lions

0.464

0.467

D

Pittsburgh Steelers

0.100

0.467

E

New York Giants

0.136

0.400

E

Tennessee Titans

-0.054

0.400

E

Atlanta Falcons

0.083

0.286

E

Oakland Raiders

0.318

0.267

E

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

0.318

0.267

E

Cleveland Browns

0.200

0.267

E

Jacksonville Jaguars

-0.023

0.267

E

Washington Redskins

0.222

0.200

E

Houston Texans

0.159

0.133

E

Teams in group A (wins driven by good QB play):

Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, and Chicago Bears

These teams are winning because of their QB play. Denver is 12-2 when Manning has 90+ passer rating and 0-1 otherwise. 49ers and Saints are perfect when they get a 90+ passer rating but are a combined 3-9 when their QBs have less than 90 passer rating. These are winning teams driven by their QB play, which can be a tenuous situation in the playoffs if the QB has a poor game so these teams have a good chance of early surprise exits in the playoffs.

The Bears have had consistent performance out of their QBs with 12 games of 90+ passer rating, but the Bears have only gone 8-4 in those games. They have also gone 0-3 in the other games as well. So, they are not necessarily in the same class as the other three teams but they barely make this group.

Teams in group B (wins driven by sporadic QB play):

Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, St Louis Rams, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Minnesota Vikings

These teams have had average seasons due to either inconsistent performance of their QB or inconsistent performance of the teams regardless of the QB play. For example, Ryan Tannehill has only had 6 games with a passer rating 90+ (Dolphins are 6-0 in those games) but 9 games with passer rating less than 90 (2-7 in those games). The Rams, Packers, Jets, and Bills are in a similar boat, just not enough good games from their QB. If these teams get more consistent play from their QB, then they could push for playoff runs.

The Vikings are a really interesting case. They have had 11 games with passer rating less than 90 and have gone 1-10 in those games. When they get good QB play, they are 3-0-1. This is the team that could turn it around quickly if they can just solidify that QB position in either free agency or the draft this offseason (or both).

Teams in group C (wins driven by and despite QB play):

Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts

These teams are winning teams that are well-coached and talented enough to win games even if their QB plays poorly. For example, the Seahawks and Patriots are a combined 15-0 when their QB has a passer rating greater than 90, but they are 8-8 when their QB plays poorly (much better than league average). The Cardinals and Bengals are similar going a combined 12-2 when their QB plays well and a combined 8-8 when their QB plays poorly. These teams are primed for playoff runs as they have shown an ability to win games even when their QB has a bad game.

Teams in group D (not winning enough with good QB play):

Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions

These teams are getting good QB play for the most part (Chargers and Eagles have had 11 games with passer rating 90+ while Lions have had 7 games and Cowboys have had 10 games). However, they have dropped some games despite this good QB play and have not been able to pull out enough victories when their QB doesn't play well. These are poor teams with good QBs right now and they should be looking to get an influx of talent (or coaching) to make a run.

Teams in group E (not winning with good or bad QB play):

Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Redskins, and Houston Texans

For these teams, it doesn't matter if they get good QB play or not. They just can't win games consistently as a team. These teams are a combined 22-33 when their QB has a passer rating of 90+ and a combined 26-90 when their QB has a passer rating below 90+. That is below league average in both categories. Only the Steelers and Titans have had greater than 6 games of 90+ passer rating and those teams are a combined 8-10 in those games. The other teams have not had enough good QB games to drive any wins from the QB. And, all of these teams have not had enough wins in games where the passer rating is less than 90 (although the Steelers, Titans, and Giants are slightly above average in those games). Either due to bad coaching, lack of talent, or just the worst luck ever, these teams just aren't winning games.

So, in looking at how most teams perform with and without good QB play and comparing that to the Titans, you can't say that the Titans season has been driven by poor QB play. The Titans are 3-5 in games where the QB has had a passer rating of 90+ (2-2 with Locker and 1-3 with Fitzpatrick). The Titans are 3-4 in games where the QB has had a passer rating less than 90. So, essentially, it doesn't matter how the QB plays, the Titans have about the same chance of winning a game.

You can either say that this is due to lack of talent on defense, special teams, or running game, or lack of coaching. My opinion is that this team isn't winning games due to poor position coaching, poor game management, and lack of in game adjustments. These are issues related to the coaching staff. We have not been losing games because of bad QB play. We have been losing games because of bad coaching.

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