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Stumbling On Wins in Football: Two Economists Expose the Pitfalls on the Road to Victory in Professional Sports by Martin B. Schmidt, David J. Berri

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A. Measuring Wins Produced in the NFL

The NFL’s Quarterback Rating is often mentioned by NFL announcers, but we suspect most football fans don’t fully understand how it’s computed. In fact, most announcers probably don’t understand how this measure is calculated. These suspicions are grounded in the steps one has to take to calculate a player’s Quarterback Rating (we are not making this up):

First, one takes a quarterback’s completion percentage, then subtracts 0.3 from this number and divides by 0.2. You then take yards per attempt, subtract 3 and divide by 4. After that, you divide touchdowns per attempt by .05. For interceptions per attempt, you start with .095, subtract from this number interceptions per attempt, and then divide this result ...

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