The Most Consistent Quarterbacks of 2014
There are plenty of ways to define consistency at the quarterback position. Perhaps you see consistency as a quarterback playing at the same level game in and game out. Maybe consistency, to you, links to longevity -- a quarterback who can play at the same level for a long time would be considered reliable.
There's no single way to define the term in football, but we've got a pretty interesting statistic here at numberFire called Success Rate that can at least give us an idea of quarterback consistency.
Essentially, Success Rate takes our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric and looks at it in a black and white way. When a player has a positive play in terms of NEP -- no matter how big or small -- it's deemed a success. When he doesn't, it's a failure. The percentage of positive plays a player makes, then, is his Success Rate.
Take a look at the top-10 quarterbacks (minimum 200 drop backs) from last season, sorted by Success Rate.
|Name||Passing NEP||Per Drop Back||Pass Success Rate|
Tony Romo, man. The dude was nuts last year. Not only was he the second most efficient passer in the NFL behind only Aaron Rodgers, but his Success Rate -- which ranked first -- was the 15th best rate we've seen since 2000.
Seeing Drew Brees so close to the top of this list was a little surprising. Many view his 2014 as a down year, and they're not totally wrong for doing so. But some of that may have to do with some really poor performances overshadowing stronger ones. In the end, he may have been inconsistent game to game, but he wasn't when looking at all of his passes.
Ryan Tannehill is an interesting case here, too. His Success Rate is pretty strong, but among this group, he was by far the least efficient given his per drop back NEP of just 0.07. That's an average rate among starting quarterbacks, if you're curious. This could be because he was a little more risk-averse, not making huge plays with his arm and settling for passes closer to the line of scrimmage. According to Pro Football Focus, among relevant passers last season, he ranked closer to the bottom in 20-plus yard attempts -- the lack of big plays probably hurt his efficiency a bit.
Lastly, there's Mark Sanchez. We can't understate his well above average Passing NEP per drop back in Chip Kelly's system last year, and that he was successful on nearly 50 percent of his passes. Whether he could keep that up over an entire season is a question mark, and considering his failures in New York, this should only be good news for Sam Bradford.