I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have a particularly strong grasp of the allegedly-sophisticated statistical voodoo that the folks over at Pro Football Focus employ to come up with their quarterback rankings (mostly because I’m a cheap bastard and I don’t want to pay for their service). But when that system produces a list that ranks the NFL leader in touchdown passes and overall QBR at a mind-boggling 31st overall at the quarterback position, it’s time to head back to the drawing board.
Rather than analyzing Deshaun Watson’s “way-the-fuck-better-than-31st-overall” statistics, let’s have a look at PFF’s reasoning behind other quarterbacks’ higher ranking:
30. Mitch Trubisky
No, that’s not a joke. A guy who’s appeared in exactly two games, completed less than 50% of his passes, and has 15 fewer touchdowns than Deshaun Watson is somehow ranked higher. You’d better have a damn good explanation for this one, PFF.
“[The Bears] kept it simple for him with a number of bootlegs and screens, and while his 8-for-16 passing line isn’t impressive, six of the eight incompletions where [sic] throwaways as Trubisky did a fine job of taking care of the ball.”
Nope. That explanation blows. I call bullshit.
T-26. Trevor Siemian
Siemian is coming off of a loss at home to the previously-winless Giants where he threw as many touchdown passes to Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins (1) as he did to his own teammates (1). So your rationale for ranking him ahead of Watson after his third consecutive game with at least three touchdown passes is…?
“On the day, Siemian was just 2-of-9 for 23 yards one interception and a 0.0 passer rating under pressure.”
As I expected. Bullshit.
Siemian, as you can see, was locked in a tie at the #26 spot. With whom, you might ask?
T-26. Joe Flacco
Now you guys are just trolling.
Joe Flacco. Joe Fucking Flacco. This guy has twice as many interceptions this season (8) as he does touchdown passes (4) and has the worst QB rating of any starter in the league not named Deshone Kizer. Oh, and that QB rating? It’s 35 points lower (66.1) than Watson’s (101.1).
There were no comments provided by PFF about Flacco’s ranking. I can only assume that’s because even they looked at this and said, “Shit. We’re gonna catch hell over this one.”
24. Matthew Stafford
Matthew Stafford in Weeks 4-6: Average QB rating of 82.2 with 5 TDs/3 INTs
Deshaun Watson in Weeks 4-6: Average QB rating of 116.1 with 12 TDs/2 INTs
Seriously, what are you guys looking at over there?!?!!!
“The ball was bouncing all over the place, with nine batted passes at the line of scrimmage including two that resulted in interceptions for touchdowns.”
To put it another way, Stafford would have needed all seven of the batted-down passes that weren’t intercepted to magically land in the hands of a teammate, then have that teammate somehow figure out a way to score, just to equal Watson’s TD pass output in the last three games.
Upon further review, Stafford’s ranking seven spots higher than Watson is — you guessed it — bullshit.
14. Ben Roethlisberger
I’m not even going to read the comments for this one, because there is absolutely no logical explanation for a guy who has more interceptions (8) than touchdown passes (7) this season — AND has a quarterback rating a full 23 points lower than Deshaun Watson — somehow being ranked 17 spots higher. Total bullshit.
I’m on the verge of throwing things, so I’m not going to dig any deeper into this list. To summarize: according to PFF’s quarterback rankings, six weeks into the football season, Deshaun Watson has been better than Jay Cutler, Deshone Kizer, and…no one else.