Darnold Grades: 2019 Week 1 vs. Bills

Sam Darnold
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

How well did Sam Darnold perform against the Bills in Week 1?

Here is a glossary of my personally-created statistics, as well as some context to help you understand what good and bad numbers look like.

Overall grade: 0-to-100 grade based on the average score of all plays analyzed. (Average: 50, Max: 100, Minimum: 0)

Adjusted grade: Overall grade adjusted based on the quality of the opponent defense (according to DVOA), with a slight bonus added for road games.

Plays: Number of plays graded.

Positive plays: Number of plays graded above 5.0: above-average efforts. (Average: 52%, Phenomenal: >60%, Awful: <40%)

Negative plays: Number of plays graded below 5.0: below-average efforts. (Average: 29%, Phenomenal: <20%, Awful: >40%)

Positive/negative ratio: Positive plays divided by negative plays: a measure of consistency. (Average: 1.75, Phenomenal: 3.00+, Awful: <1.00)

Average positive: The average score of all positive plays. An indicator of how high the quarterback’s peaks were — a higher score indicates a great rate of splash plays, a lower score indicates a combination of few impressive plays, many easy throws, and teammates bailing out the quarterback. (Average: 5.90, Phenomenal: 6.00+, Awful: <5.80)

Average negative: The average score of all negative plays. An indicator of how low the quarterback’s valleys were — a higher score indicates few catastrophic mistakes/lost plays tending to fall more on supporting cast, a lower score indicates that mistakes were generally very bad and that lost plays tended to be largely the quarterback’s fault. (Average: 3.80, Phenomenal: 4.00+, Awful: <3.60)

Wow Factor: Combination of average positive and average negative. An indicator of the ability to both avoid big mistakes and produce impressive moments. (Average: 9.75, Phenomenal: 10.0+, Awful: <9.5)

7+ plays: Number of plays graded 7 or better: elite moments. (Average: 8%, Phenomenal: >12%, Awful: <4%)

≤3 plays: Number of plays graded 3 or worse: brutal moments. (Average: 8%, Phenomenal: <4%, Awful: >12%)

Let’s take a look at how my evaluation of Darnold’s performance against the Bills compares to his advanced and traditional statistics.


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