A Disgression: Rodgers v. Favre

I am taking a break from blogging about health care and focusing on the health of the Green Bay Packers.  For those appreciate the quantitative focus of this blog, do not dispair, there will be lots of numbers.

Rodgers vs. Favre

At the beginning of the NFL season, the Packers jettisoned their hall of fame quarterback in favor of a young quarterback who had never started a profession game.  Did the Packers choose wisely?  A statistical comparison of the two quarterbacks clearly shows that Aaron Rodgers has a superior season to Brett Favre.  As shown in this table, Rodgers surpassed Favre in every statistical category except completion percetage.  Most importantly, Rodgers is 25 and Favre is 39.

The Packers Season: Talent without execution

Despite the superior play of Aaron Rodgers, the Packers were only 6-10.  Should Packers fans expect another poor season next year?  I don’t believe so.

In baseball, statisticians use Bill James’ Pythagorean Record to measure how many games a team should have won according to their talent.  According to Pro-football Reference, a team’s Pythagorean Record in the NFL is:

  • (Points For)2.37/[(Points For)2.37 + (Points Against)2.37].  

According to actual Wins and Losses, the Packers had the 24th best team in the NFL.  According to my Pythagorean Record calculations, however, the Packers had the 15th best team.  In fact, the Packers were the most under-preforming team in the NFL.  This table shows that the Packers should have expected a win percentage of .558 (8.9 wins), but they only won 6 games.  This means that either 1) the Packers were very unlucky or 2) the Packers lost a large portion of close games.  

Better luck next year for the green and gold.

1 Comment

  1. Nicely put… will you figure out what happened to my Broncos next?

    I think that noting their complete lack of defense is stating the obvious, but any numbers to help me sleep at night wouldn’t hurt.


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