Which Quarterbacks Have Lost the Most Points for Their Teams Since 2000?
There are some movies that you have to watch if they're on television. The 40-Year-Old Virgin. The Usual Suspects. Pulp Fuction. They're all great flicks.
Sometimes, though, you just want to watch a little How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. There's nothing wrong with that -- bad movies can be enjoyable at times, too.
The same goes for sports articles and columns on the Internet. It's always entertaining when we look at high-profile players who are doing amazing things on the court, ice or field. But the other side of the spectrum can be enjoyable, too.
Poking fun at poor performances is a good time, you guys. Trust me.
Today, we're going to look at, essentially, the worst quarterbacks since 2000. How? Well, we'll use numberFire's neat little metric called Net Expected Points (NEP) to help, which measures how a player performs on each play versus expectation. Rather than give you the spiel here, I'll let you read more about it in depth in our glossary.
Which quarterbacks have totaled the lowest Net Expected Points output throughout their career since the turn of the century? Which ones have lost more points -- expected points -- for their respective teams since 2000?
Let's count it down from 5 all the way to 1.
5. Blaine Gabbert | Passing NEP Total: -170.60
The interesting thing with quarterbacks is that a NEP score of zero isn't really average. Because passing is more effective than rushing, the per drop back NEP average among signal-callers since 2000 is actually a little less than 0.03. Rushing numbers are completely opposite of that, meaning an average NFL rush is losing expected points. That's not to say running the ball isn't important -- it's just not as effective.
So when you noticed Blaine Gabbert's -170.60 Passing NEP, that's actually worse than playing about 171 points below expectation. Far worse. Consider this: the average Passing NEP per drop back since 2000, as I mentioned, is 0.03. Blaine Gabbert's so far in his NFL career? -0.20.
That's a 0.23 point difference per drop back, people. In 2014 terms, that's the difference between Tom Brady and Austin Davis. That's right -- the difference between Tom Brady and Austin Davis is the same as an average NFL quarterback and Blaine Gabbert.
No season of Gabbert's was worse than his rookie campaign, where he posted a -86.44 Passing NEP, good for -0.19 expected points per pass. In 2013, though, Gabbert dropped back to pass 98 times, leading to a -0.52 per drop back NEP average. That's the third-worst single-season rate we've seen from a quarterback with 90 or more passes. Yikes.
4. JaMarcus Russell | Passing NEP: -178.27
Among the group of passers on this list, none were worse on a per drop back basis than JaMarcus Russell. That's why I'd strongly argue that he's the absolute worst quarterback we've seen since Y2K happened but, again, this list is strictly about points lost -- not necessarily about efficiency.
Russell dropped back to pass 748 times in his NFL career, and threw a successful pass -- in terms of a positive expected point play -- on just 36.36% of those tosses. That, too, was the worst among this list of passers.
JaMarcus Russell has the pleasure of owning the second-worst quarterback season since 2000, too -- in 2009, he totaled -115.53 Passing Net Expected Points, good for a -0.42 Passing NEP per drop back rate. Unlike Gabbert above, those numbers are so bad that I can't even give you a good comparison to put them into perspective. It was as if Russell's throwing arm was actually a leg or something.
3. Kyle Boller | Passing NEP: -211.13
I actually have to give Kyle Boller some props. Somehow he made it through eight NFL seasons, starting at least one game in six of them. Naturally, his last start came with the Oakland Raiders in 2011.
Oakland gonna Oakland.
Again, the reason Boller is "ahead" of Russell on this list is simply because he played more. Basically, he was doing bad things every time he dropped back to pass, but he dropped back to pass 891 more times than JaMarcus Russell did during his career. It all adds up.
Boller had just one season where he threw more touchdowns than interceptions, but he didn't have one of those "Did you even work out during the offseason?" type of seasons during his career. The worst year he saw came in 2004, his second season in the NFL, where he accumulated -74.68 Passing NEP. For the record, Blake Bortles was worse than that this year (-97.97).
But teams -- the Ravens especially -- kept giving Boller chances, which is why he finds himself number three on this list. You could probably find worse signal-callers in the NFL over the last decade and a half. Most of them were just on the bench.
2. David Carr | Passing NEP: -229.09
The truth is though, elder Carr was a really bad starting NFL quarterback. He owns the absolute worst season according to Passing NEP, where, in 2002, he totaled -128.24 Passing Net Expected Points. He wasn't as inefficient on a per drop back basis as the aforementioned JaMarcus Russell, but 76 sacks against, a 9-to-15 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 5.8 yards per attempt average doesn't exactly scream Pro Bowl.
Carr's best season as a starter actually came in 2006, the last year he was in Houston. I still have no idea how it takes a team five years to realize that Derek Carr isn't a franchise quarterback.
1. Joey Harrington | Passing NEP: -275.49
The quarterback who has lost more points than any other passer in the NFL since 2000? Joey Harrington, of course.
Since 2000, Harrington's totaled -275.49 Passing Net Expected Points. For some perspective, Peyton Manning's Passing NEP total since 2000 is 2,211.81. OK, maybe that's not really perspective. How about this: Harrington's Passing NEP total is worse than Ryan Lindley, Jimmy Clausen and Sam Bradford's combined.
A little like Boller, Harrington didn't do all of this in just one or two seasons. Instead, teams kept giving him the rock, and he kept doing nothing with it. He hit the 340 pass attempt mark with three different NFL teams (Detroit, Miami, Atlanta), and never averaged better than a -0.06 Passing NEP per drop back, which he accomplished in Miami.
No, he's not the worst quarterback we've seen since the turn of the century. But in sum, he's lost more points for his teams than any other passer in the league over the last 15 years.