Using Similarity Scores to Project Philip Rivers Season

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

The biggest question for the San Diego Chargers is "How will Philip Rivers play?" Jason Peters tries using similar 3-year players to find out.

John's recent post regarding Rivers being similar to Drew Bledsoe got me thinking...we have ways of calculating these things. Similarity scores for player careers has been around for quite some time, first introduced by Bill James for baseball players. Other sites have adapted the concept for NFL players, and Football Outsiders has published on player pages 1, 2, and 3 year similarity scores for players.

So I went over to Philip Rivers page and checked it out. The results were actually somewhat encouraging, as shown in the table below. Keep in mind that a perfect similarity is a score of 1000.

Rank


Player


Year


Sim


1

Eli Manning

2010-2012

625

2

Tom Brady

2004-2006

622

3

Brett Favre

1998-2000

615

4

Peyton Manning

2006-2008

603

5

Peyton Manning

2005-2007

595

6

Brett Favre

1997-1999

581

7

Jim Everett

1989-1991

558

8

Philip Rivers

2009-2011

556

9

Dan Marino

1988-1990

554

10

Jim Kelly

1991-1993

546

Well, that certainly doesn't look terrible on first look. There is nothing wrong with keeping company with names like that. For many of these guys, those years are just on the tail ends of their prime production years, but well before they were put out to pasture.

What if we tried to project Rivers next season based on the following year of the similar quarterbacks? Excluding Eli Manning, here are the results below.

Player


Year


PaYd


Comp %


TD


INT


Tom Brady

2007

4806

68.9

50

8

Brett Favre

2001

3921

61.6

32

15

Peyton Manning

2009

4500

68.8

33

16

Peyton Manning

2008

4002

66.8

27

12

Brett Favre

2000

3812

58.3

20

16

Jim Everett

1992

3323

59.2

22

18

Philip Rivers

2012

3606

64.1

26

15

Dan Marino

1991

3970

57.9

25

13

Jim Kelly

1994

3114

63.6

22

17

Weighted Average


3914


63.3


28.9


14.4

Obviously, Tom Brady's 2007 would be everything we could dream of. It was one of the best quarterback seasons ever, and lead the charge to an undefeated regular season. The weighted average suggests a slight improvement in most numbers, but hardly a return to MVP-caliber form.

While we would love to see Rivers play close to Brady's 2007 or Peyton Manning's 2009, it will probably fall short of that, and just be a bit of an improvement on Rivers 2012.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bolts From The Blue

You must be a member of Bolts From The Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bolts From The Blue. You should read them.

Join Bolts From The Blue

You must be a member of Bolts From The Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bolts From The Blue. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker