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NFL Pass Indexes: Quarterback & pass defense rankings through Week 9

Using my ROPE & ROPED Indexes to rank quarterbacks and pass defenses through week 9.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The ROPE (Quarterbacks) and ROPED (Pass Defense) Indexes are my self-developed passing efficiency metrics, analyzing both the offense and defense. Based loosely on the passer rating formula, I have taken it further by analyzing data that looks at receiving, blocking and pass rushing to give a more rounded view of the passing offense. In total there are six metrics that are measured to give a ROPE/ROPED Index score; completion percentage, yards per attempt, yards per completion, touchdown percentage, interception percentage and adjusted sack rate. For a full breakdown of the way the ROPE and ROPED Indexes are put together, including the thresholds for achieving a ‘perfect’ game, you can find my original posts explaining them here(ROPE) and here (ROPED).

In addition, I’ve added the average fantasy values of both the quarterbacks (including rushing points), and pass defenses for comparison between the metric and the relative fantasy value.

ROPE Index - Week 9

And we have a new leader in the ROPE Index rankings. Alex Smith has been overtaken by Drew Brees , who posted his highest rating of 2017 and highest rating in over a year of 83.3% as the Saints made it six wins in a row in defeating the Buccaneers. Brees has been the ultimate in consistency, never having finished lower than 12th in the ROPE Index dating all the way back to 2004. Alex Smith continues to have a solid season, and his 62.1% rating in the week 9 defeat to the Cowboys featured his first interception of 2017, on his 287th attempt. Without the interception, Smith and Brees would be tied at the top.

Jared Goff had both the highest ROPE Index rating and the most fantasy points of Week 9. His 87.9% rating was the second highest of his short career, after posting a 95.5% rating in week 3 against the 49ers. Goff’s 28.44 fantasy points, though the best of the week, barely scrapes the top 15 performances of the season to date. Goff does rise five places in the ROPE Index rankings, from 9th to 4th, and two places from 14th to 12th in average fantasy points per game (16.74 ppg).

Cam Newton remains a top 10 fantasy quarterback, despite having another below average week in the ROPE Index, with a rating of 44.5%. Cam has 58 fantasy points this year from his rushing alone, more than 20 points ahead of the next best quarterback, and his 86 rushing yards against the Falcons are most in game by a quarterback this season.

DeShone Kizer remains rooted to the bottom of the ROPE Index rankings after his bye week. He and fellow rookie CJ Beathard are propping up the rest of the league, though Beathard is clearly on borrowed time before newly acquired Jimmy Garropolo makes his debut.

Brock Osweiler got his first playing time of 2017 and promptly finished last in ROPE rating in week 9 with a rating of 19.7%, the joint lowest of his career. Only Andy Dalton finished with fewer fantasy points than Osweiler’s 8.32, as Dalton threw for just 136 yards as he posted a whopping 5.34 points against the league’s number one pass defense in the Jaguars.

Derek Carr continues to underwhelm in fantasy this season, with his 14.77 average points per game only good enough for 19th overall, though his season to date ROPE rating of 54.5% sees him in the top-10 quarterbacks for passing efficiency.

ROPE Index: Week 9

ROPED Index - Week 9

The Jaguars remain the top pass defense in the league as they posted their eighth straight game with a rating of over 50.0%. The Saints defense continues to be one of the surprise packages in the NFL this year as they are now up three places to 4th in pass defense. After defeats in the first two weeks of this season where the pass defense averaged a rating of just 11.4%, they have gone onto average a rating of 75.8% during their six game winning streak. The Eagles also moved up three places this week and now sit in joint 7th place.

The Giants were the biggest fallers of week 9, dropping four places to 28th as they were taken to task by Jared Goff and the Rams and posted a lowly 12.1% ROPED rating.

In terms of fantasy points allowed, its still the Jaguars and Steelers leading the way, with a fair sized drop off to the Rams in third. After a bye week, its not a surprise to see the lowest rated fantasy defense continuing to reside in New England, though the Buccs and Giants are pushing them for this dubious accolade.

ROPED Index: Week 9