NFL Passer Rating

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Chris Gluck

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Apr 5, 2013, 12:25:49 PM4/5/13
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All,
 
For consideration --- the NFL Passer Rating, in my opinion, is a faulty equation baseline for soccer... here's why:
 
1.  The NFL Passer Rating is an Individual rating as opposed to a team rating...
2.  The 'attempts' denominator used in this equation is the critical piece and OPTA/MLS have yet to quantify 'attempts' in any data that they collect and or distribute to the public...
3.  Soccer is and remains a 'team game' up to the point of striking the ball on goal where it comes down to striker versus keeper... in the NFL usually only one player has a direct impact in the ability of a team to score a touchdown through passing - yes the recievers need to catch the ball but the rating is all about the quarterback...
4.  In Soccer, any player, anywhere, at anytime can be a 'quarterback' to deliver a ball that someone can score from... so the logic is flawed...
 
So on to figuring an offering that can quantify 'team buildup' to a goal scored that accounts for any player, anywhere, anytime...
 
Most understand that in direct attacking football even a goal keeper can get an assist... therefore any ball delivered in any area within the 30-40 yard third of the pitch can reasonably be considered an 'attempt'... logic follows that this probably happens maybe once in 30 games to judgment is used to filter out 99% of those goal keeper long balls from being legit opportunities...
 
So what next.... the most critical area in the pitch is the attacking/defending third; most probably 99% of all goals scored come from that area... therefore counting the number of penetrations into that area (what I call the red-zone) has value in determining team distribution of the ball to generate a goal...  it is also reasonable that the more times this occurs the better the team is in 'attacking' and the worse the defending midifelders are in 'defending' .
 
To follow...  within the game of soccer 'assists' are counted and individually tracked.. this gives a sense of good assistors but does it give a sense of team capability in creating assists from various areas of the pitch?  Not really - so the next measurement is tracking and counting 'failed assists' - why? for two reasons - to track attacking potential of the team i creating goal scoring chances while also deriving where weaknesses are in the defense --- tons of assists from one location versus another indicate a dominance by one player over another...  but success of those assists gets down to the target area... a striker might get the ball but fail to get a shot taken that is or isn't on target... on the other hand a defender might 'defend the assist' and render it inert...
 
again - all of this interplay and reaction between players is not addressed within the concepts of the NFL Passer rating index unless you equate 'attempts' to penetrations and then goal scoring opportunities (failed and unfailed assists)... this makes an individual efficiency rating a 'team efficiency rating'...
 
It is quite difficult to offer up this discussion one sided with no room for questions are interaction and clarification where I may have communicated some of these thoughts above poorly... 
 
I would love to discuss all these concepts to include any other statistical soccer metrics with others who have a passion in this area... I have worked long and hard in my spare time to develop these thoughts - perhaps some are faulty I don't know... to date reception has been positive... 
 
I really like the idea of piggy backing off an accepted equation theory - espcially one already with a foundation in wikipedia... soccer sorely needs better metrics and increased understanding in the 'team' part of this game that gets lost sometimes in our world of individual baseball, basketball, football and hockey individual statistics... soccer is different - it is the team that tees up the opportunity and the individual who fails or succeeds in scoring the goal... 
 
As a military analyst it has always been important (to me and those I work with) to make sure statistics measure apples to apples and not apples to oranges...
 
3.  Thanks for offering up the methodology on the NFL Passer Rating I don't watch the NFL but once or twice a year and only when the Steelers make the playoffs so stats in that sport have no meaning to me....
 
4.  For the NHL however, they track +/- and I want to track that for soccer too... especially for substitutes in tracking their success in 'changing the game'...
 
Perhaps this is more than you wanted to know...
 
All the best,
Chris
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