If you love football and you love statistics even more, then you need to know how to compute a Quarterback’s rating using the official NFL Quarterback rating formula. This Quarterback rating formula is a highly complex mathematical equation which was devised by Don Smith and has been used by the NFL since 1973.
Knowing how to compute a Quarterback’s rating with this formula comes in handy if you like to play any kind of NFL fantasy games — board games, video games, etc. — and you like to keep statistics on the games you play. Heck, back in the day when I was a kid I LOVED football statistics so much I kept statistics for every dang game I played on my Stratomatic football board game, my cheesy LED hand held football games, and you remember those old fashioned electric football games where you had little plastic football players on a metal football field and the field vibrated making them move? I even kept statistics on that game. I’ve still got piles of notebooks filled with play by play stats for every game I played on those things and I’d compute all the player statistics for each game and then again at the end of each 16 game season. Yes… I was obsessed with football statistics and my dream was to one day become an NFL statistician. I was the only kid in my neighborhood who knew how to compute the NFL Quarterback ratings and I will share this formula with you all here now, so that YOU TOO can become obsessed with your fantasy and video game football stats!
For the purposes of this article I will use the 1980 statistics of my all time favorite NFL quarterback — Ron Jaworski (the “Polish Rifle”) — who played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1977-1986. 1980 is the year the Eagles played in the Superbowl (where they lost to the Oakland Raiders) and Ron Jaworski had his best ever quarterback rating that year .
In 1980, Ron “the Polish Rifle” Jaworski completed 257 of 451 passes (57%) for 3529 yards with 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. His quarterback rating was 91.00.
The official NFL quarterback rating formula is a five step process that takes into account four main things:
1) percentage of passes completed
2) average yards gained per pass attempt
3) percentage of touchdowns per pass attempt
4) percentage of interceptions per pass attempt
Step One: Take the percentage of passes completed, subtract 30, divide by 20.
Ron Jaworski completed 57% of his passes in 1980.
57 minus 30 = 27.
27 divided by 20 = 1.35.
Step Two: Take the yards gained per attempt, subtract 3 and then divide by 4.
Ron Jaworski averaged 7.82 yards per pass attempt in 1980 (3529 divided by 451 = 7.82)
7.82 minus 3 = 4.82.
4.82 divided by 4 = 1.21
Step 3: Take the percentage of touchdown passes per pass attempt and divide by 5.
Ron Jaworski’s touchdown percentage was 5.99% in 1980 (27 divided by 451 = 5.99%)
5.99 divided by 5 = 1.2
Step 4: (this is a slightly tricky one) Take the number 2.375 and subtract from that the percentage of interceptions per pass attempt divided by 4.
Ron Jaworski’s interception percentage in 1980 was 2.66% (12 divided by 451 = 2.66%)
2.66 divided by 4 = .67
2.375 minus .67 = 1.71
Step 5: Now we add the results from steps 1-4, divide by six, then multiply by 100 to get the official NFL quarterback rating.
Ron Jaworski’s numbers: 1.35 + 1.21 + 1.2 + 1.71 = 5.47
5.47 divided by 6 = .91
.91 multiplied by 100 = 91.00 (Ron Jaworski’s quarterback rating for 1980)
(NOTE: for steps 1-4 the highest result you can give your player is 2.375 and the lowest result you can give is zero.)
There you have it… that’s how to use the official NFL quarterback rating formula to compute quarterback ratings for your own fantasy games, etc. Happy computing!