We’ve been doing this World’s No. 1 Quarterback Rankings thing for a few years now and we’ll open the 2022 season with perhaps the most clickbaitish ranking yet.
Josh Allen is the No. 1 quarterback by our system.
The World’s No. 1 Quarterback Ranking is based on a model devised by Bill James to evaluate The World’s No. 1 Starting Pitcher. Bill’s model was based on cumulative evaluation of individual starts over an extended time period using the metric Game Score.
The World’s No. 1 Quarterback Ranking uses our player value stat, Total Points to make a cumulative evaluation of game performance over a three-year period. The key to our calculation is PAA, the statistical underpinning of Total Points that is centered at zero so that positive numbers are above average and negative numbers are below average.
Success over time is key to maintaining a good ranking. Prolonged inactivity results in a ranking drop. The most recent performances carry the most weight.
Our Top 10 currently reads:
1. Josh Allen
2. Justin Herbert
3. Patrick Mahomes
4. Aaron Rodgers
5. Tom Brady
6. Matthew Stafford
7. Joe Burrow
8. Kirk Cousins
9. Derek Carr
10. Russell Wilson
So let’s explain what happened here:
Josh Allen’s two phenomenal games in last year’s playoffs moved him past those quarterbacks you think he should be behind.
Allen ended the regular season ranked No. 5 behind Aaron Rodgers, Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes, and Tom Brady.
If you’re wondering why Mahomes was No. 3, the gap between Rodgers, Herbert and Mahomes was small enough entering Week 18 that both Rodgers and Herbert leapfrogged Mahomes in the season’s final week.
Mahomes retook the No. 1 spot during Wild Card weekend with Rodgers slipping to No. 2 and Herbert to No. 3. But Allen narrowed the difference between himself and the four quarterbacks in front of him by throwing for 308 yards and five touchdowns in a dominant win over the Patriots.
Then in the Divisional Round, though Mahomes and the Chiefs won an epic game, Allen (329 yards, 4 touchdown passes, 68 rushing yards) nearly matched Mahomes in performance (378 yards, 3 touchdown passes, 69 rushing yards).
Meanwhile, Brady had a lousy game in a season-ending defeat to the Rams, posting -7 Points Above Average. Rodgers too was bad by his standards, finishing -1 Points Above Average in a loss to the 49ers.
Allen shot past them and Herbert (whose team didn’t make the playoffs) and moved into the No. 2 spot.
Then, when Mahomes was sacked four times and had two interceptions against the Bengals in the AFC Championship, Allen reaped the benefit of a week of inactivity and slid into the No. 1 position.
In fairness to Allen, given that there may be some skepticism about this ranking. He’s proven himself pretty well the last two seasons. He ranked 5th in Total Points in the 2020 regular season and 3rd in 2021. If he plays at the level that he did in his two postseason games, he may find himself hanging on the No. 1 for a little while.
Other things to keep an eye on:
* Russell Wilson, who dropped from No. 5 to No. 10 from his peak in 2021 to the end of 2022, will try to climb back to the Top 5 with a new team. There were considerable concerns about Wilson for part of last season. He’d dipped to No. 16 in the rankings in Week 10 but finished with 20.6 points above average in his last seven games, most of them coming in the final two weeks of the season.
* Joe Burrow went ranked No. 21 through games played in Week 13 last season. But he jumped 14 spots with superstar performances against the 49ers, Ravens, and Chiefs in the regular season, and the Raiders in the playoffs.
Burrow closed with -2.1 PAA against the Titans in the Divisional Round , a 0 PAA game against the Chiefs (technically he was 0.01), and a -1.7 PAA in the Super Bowl
Will he have staying power among the top quarterbacks this season?
* Trevor Lawrence ranks 60th behind a slew of backups who barely saw the field in 2021 (a good game in Week 1 would change that). But he ended 2021 with the best game of his career, a win that knocked the Colts out of the playoff race. Can he make the necessary improvements to get into the top half of the league’s QBs?
Here are our rankings heading into 2022.
|Rank||QB||PAA Per 60|