Neil Paine over at the PFR blog wrote basically what I was going to follow up with (albeit much better than I would have). I just wanted to add in a couple other correlations with current metrics that I looked at (correlations are for all stats from 2008-2010).
|EPA per Play||0.924|
|WPA per Play||0.899|
|WPA per Game||0.892|
All the EPA and WPA metrics are from Advanced NFL Stats (leaderboard here, if you don’t know what they mean check out my last post). As you can tell, EPA per Play correlates best with Total QBR, and is on par with VOA according to Neil’s article. This makes sense: the way QBR handles Clutch Index–first multiplying by it, then dividing by the sum of it–essentially cancels it out, leaving us with EPA per play and the division of credit. The Clutch Index serves to reward QBs who make their best plays in relatively clutch situations, but this appears to be minimal.
Whether or not QBR turns out to be more useful than EPA per Play or VOA probably lies in how well the division of credit is handled. At one extreme, it could be the next step in advancing QB metrics, rewarding those QBs who can get the ball downfield and put the ball on the money while punishing those who don’t. On the other end of the spectrum, if not handled correctly, it could end up adding unneeded complexity and throwing out useful information. As of now, we have no way of assessing which it will be as ESPN has yet to release any details on how their division of credit is handled. Let’s hope we can get a peek inside at some point and see exactly what’s going on.