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Say hello to the "Splash Play Score"

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Michael B. Thomas

Splash Play Score is a statistic I created to weigh the "big" plays a quarterback accounts for against the "big" plays inflicted upon him by the opposing defense. It's a similar concept to tracking explosive plays, which we know Pete Carroll does, but factors in the negatives as well.

(Yes, it's me...the Total Accuracy guy.)

Technically, Splash Play Score would be considered an "advanced metric," but it's formulated rather simply. Here's the excerpt from my CBS Sports article last week that "introduced" the stat:

Occasionally we hear analysts use the term "splash play" when referring to a huge play like a sack, touchdown or interception. The more "splash plays" a team creates, the better. To track how often a quarterback "accounts" for a splash play or has a splash play inflicted upon him, I created a simple metric called Splash Play Score.

A quarterback's 20-plus-yard pass plays (drops included) are added to his touchdown total to find his "Big Positive Play Total." Then, his interceptions and sacks are added together to find his "Big Negative Play Total."

Big Negative Play Total is subtracted from Big Positive Play Total to find a signal-caller's Splash Play Score.

(As usual, huge credit to Pro Football Focus here.)

I'll be updating this chart on a weekly basis from now on.

*Quarterbacks who've taken at least 25% of their respective team's snaps are counted.

Rank Name 20-plus pass plays (including drops) TD Big Positive Play Total INT Sack Big Negative Play Total Splash Play Score
1 Peyton Manning 12 19 31 3 7 10 21
2 Philip Rivers 17 17 34 3 11 14 20
3 Andrew Luck 17 19 36 7 11 18 18
4 Joe Flacco 15 14 29 5 8 13 16
5 Nick Foles 17 10 27 7 7 14 13
6 Brian Hoyer 16 7 23 2 9 11 12
7 Tony Romo 15 14 29 6 12 18 11
T8 Matt Ryan 19 13 32 7 15 22 10
T8 Drew Brees 11 11 22 7 5 12 10
T10 Aaron Rodgers 7 18 25 1 16 17 8
T10 Carson Palmer 7 6 13 1 4 5 8
T10 Tom Brady 9 13 22 2 12 14 8
T13 Andy Dalton 9 6 15 3 5 8 7
T13 Derek Carr 8 8 16 5 4 9 7
T15 Austin Davis 15 9 24 4 15 19 5
T15 Kirk Cousins 12 10 22 9 8 17 5
T15 Drew Stanton 8 2 10 0 5 5 5
18 Russell Wilson 9 10 19 2 13 15 4
19 Mike Glennon 8 7 15 3 9 12 3
T26 Ryan Fitzpatrick 14 8 22 7 12 19 3
20 Eli Manning 6 14 20 5 13 18 2
T21 Ben Roethlisberger 16 10 26 3 21 24 2
T21 Colin Kaepernick 14 11 25 5 19 24 1
T21 Charlie Whitehurst 7 5 12 2 9 11 1
T21 E.J. Manuel 5 5 10 3 6 9 1
25 Jay Cutler 10 14 24 7 17 24 0
T26 Ryan Tannehill 7 10 17 5 14 19 -2
28 Jake Locker 6 4 10 4 9 13 -3
29 Kyle Orton 6 5 11 3 13 16 -5
T30 Alex D. Smith 4 10 14 4 16 20 -6
T30 Cam Newton 4 8 12 3 15 18 -6
T32 Chad Henne 4 3 7 1 16 17 -10
T32 Geno Smith 4 7 11 7 14 21 -10
34 Matthew Stafford 10 9 19 6 24 30 -11
35 Blake Bortles 5 5 10 10 12 22 -12
36 Teddy Bridgewater 4 1 5 5 15 20 -15

Here's another excerpt from the CBS article:

"This metric doesn't insinuate a 20-yard completion is as important as a touchdown or that a sack is as devastating as an interception. It's just a way to look at how often a quarterback is creating a big play for his team compared to how often he's creating a big play for the opponent. Stacking up each quarterback against one another provides prospective, which is always needed."

Also, we have to realize that not every TD, INT, sack or 20-yard pass play is entirely on the quarterback.

Russell Wilson analysis: Wilson also creates an assortment of splash plays with his feet, which aren't factored in here.  However, considering Seattle's offensive line woes and the fact that he plays in a run-heavy offense, RW3's Big Play Total of 19 is pretty darn good.

Any questions? I'll be tracking the comment section. Also, you can find me on Twitter @ChrisTrapasso.