If you heard the first part of my appearance on the Jarrod Thomas Show today you probably thought you got the radio station wrong. The topic was sports, and NFL football in particular. This is clearly not my favorite topic. I am not an NFL fan or viewer, but the question asked, more of an assignment JT gave me, was the statistical evaluation of Christian Ponder, Eli Manning, and Bret Favre at the same points of their career. This means looking at the first three years of Manning’s and Favre’s career.
Based on that timeframe Ponder stacks up well. His completion percentage is significantly better (in a statistical sense) than Manning, and cannot be judged significantly different from Favre’s. However I took it another step and used the old passer rating formula which is just a measure of passer performance. This leaves out much of the subjective of the ESPN QBR formula, which has crunch time numbers and tries other corrections. That is fine, but not really relevant in my opinion. So here are the numbers, passer rating in parentheses.
Not a big difference here. To say that Ponder is significantly worse than Manning or Favre is inaccurate based on the numbers I had. So if you are keeping score for today’s inter-radio show banter it is JT 247, Cunningham 1.