Most of the geeks who grind on NFL statistics have little use for passer ratings, which are calculated by using each quarterback’s completion percentage, passing yards, touchdowns and interceptions. Over the past few years, ESPN has developed an alternate statistic called “total quarterback rating,” which attempts to assess a quarterback’s overall contribution to a team win.
Until “total quarterback rating” is accepted throughout the NFL, passer rating will remain the official measure of a quarterback’s performance, although even the league readily admits that passer rating fails to include such important factors as leadership, play calling, third-down efficiency and fourth-quarter comebacks, among others.
A quarterback cannot achieve a perfect, single-game passer rating any higher than 158.3. Only one Seahawk has posted a 158.3, Dave Krieg against Denver Dec.24, 1983, when he completed 12 of 13 passes for 200 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
Two dozen quarterbacks have registered at least one 158.3, and no quarterback has hit that number more times than Peyton Manning, who has four such performances. Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger both had three such games.
So here’s the fun number for the day, and we’ll let New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, whose club faces the Seahawks Sunday at CenturyLink Field, tell you about it.
“This young man Russell Wilson, I saw something that blew me away, which was a 154.0 quarterback rating over the last five games on third down,” Ryan said this week in a conference call with Seattle reporters. “That is ridiculous and pretty impressive.”
Due his well-documented struggles through Seattle’s first four games, Wilson has an 81.1 passer rating for the season on third down. Although not as lofty as Tom Brady’s 110.2, or Aaron Rodgers’ 109.1, or Manning’s 103.3, it’s higher than Robert Griffin’s 80.7, Drew Brees’s 79.2 and Eli Manning’s 65.8.
Equally impressive — and maybe more so — is that the Wisconsin rookie has a 120.2 passer rating at CenturyLink Field, where Wilson is 4-0 with nine touchdown passes and no interceptions (Wilson is one of just three quarterbacks without an interception at home). Not even Manning has a higher home passer rating. These are the best home marks as the NFL heads into Week 10:
The Seahawks shocked draftniks when they selected Wilson in the third round last spring, especially after Seattle had just signed veteran free agent Matt Flynn. A bigger shock came when he beat out Flynn for the starting job in training camp. Wilson’s 120.2 home passer rating is the biggest shock yet, considering that Peyton Manning’s best home rating was 121.1 in 2004, in what is becoming a constant catalog of surprises.