This was before today
Gunslinger of the week
Matthew Stafford led his team back from a 14-point third-quarter deficit — still down 13 points with under 4 minutes to go — to win against the New Orleans Saints. Oh, and he threw an interception in the fourth quarter with his team still down 10.
Stafford, for all his woes as QB of the Lions, seems to have a game well suited to the gunslinger paradigm.
Among QBs with 20 or more games with comeback opportunities (down 9+ in the second half), Stafford now has the third-highest winning percentage, behind only Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. This is, of course, despite his relatively high interception rate (e.g., over twice as high as Aaron Rodgers’s):
That he did this for lowly Detroit is particularly remarkable to me, since Stafford has gotten some of the worst team support in football.
There’s a basic way to test how much support a QB gets. Winning Percentage Added (WPA) is a stat that measures how a team’s chances of winning a game (based on league-wide models for a typical team) change after each play. Thus, a QB’s WPA for a game is how much his team’s chances of winning increased on the plays he was involved with. All else being equal, his team should win a game about 50 percent of the time plus the QB’s WPA.11
If you take this estimate and then subtract from the actual result, you get a figure equal to the amount of winning percentage added by elements of the team that are NOT the passing game (including running, defense, and special teams). We can plot a comparison between these two like so:Some QBs like Tom Brady and Joe Flacco actually win more often than their passing would suggest, meaning the non-passing part of their team is contributing as well. Others have to overcome bad teams. Stafford is a great example of this, as he typically adds close to 10 percent to his teams chances, only to see even more stripped in the plays where he isn’t an active participant. In fact, Stafford gets the worst support of any QB with a positive WPA.