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  1. american football
  2. statistics
  3. passer rating formula

Football Passer Rating Formula

Table of Contents

What is the Passer Rating Formula in Football?

Passer Rating in Football is stat used to measure a quarterback's performance. Using the quarterback's passing attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns, and interceptions a QB's Passing Rating can be calculated. The highest passer rating is 158.3 and the lowest is 0.

How to Calculate a QB's Passer Rating?

For each of the four variables used to calculate a quarterback's passer rating (passing attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns, and interceptions), there are four unique formulas that the variables must be plugged into.


Step 1: Get The Data

Let's take a look back to Week 12 of the 2018 NFL season to further understand passer rating:

Week 12 2018 Passing Leaders

QuarterbackPassing StatsPasser Rating
Ben Roethlisberger - Pit41/56, 462 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT88.5
Russell Wilson - SEA22/31, 339 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT128.3

Step 2: Calculate Passing Attempts Equation

Passing attempts represents the total number of throws a QB had in a game. For the first formula, you take the number of completions and divide it by the number of attempts, subtract .3 and then multiply that number by 5.

BR = ((41/56) - .3) x 5 = 2.16071428571
RW = ((22/31) - .3) x 5 = 2.04838709677

Step 3: Calculate the Passing Yards Equation

Passing yards are the total number of yards thrown by a QB in a game. For the second formula, you take the number of passing yards and divide it by the number of attempts, subtract 3 and then multiply that number by .25.

BR = ((462/56 - 3) x .25 = 1.3125
RW = ((339/31 - 3) x .25 = 1.98387096774

Passing Touchdowns - Equation 3:

For the third formula, you take the number of passing touchdowns and divide it by the number of attempts again, this time simply multiply that number by 20.

BR = (1/56) x 20 = 0.35714285714
RW = (2/31) x 20 = 1.29032258065

Passing Interceptions - Equation 4:

For the last formula, take 2.375 and subtract the number of interceptions thrown divided by the number of attempts again, multiplied that number by 25.

BR = 2.375-((2/56) x 25) = 1.48214285714
RW = 2.375-((0/31) x 25) = 2.375

NFL Passer Rating Formula:

Finally, take the sum of Equation 1, Equation 2, Equation 3, and Equation 4 and divided that number by 6. Then, multiply that number times 100 to calculate the QB's passer rating.

BR = ((F1(2.16071428571) + F2(1.3125) + F3(0.35714285714) + F4(1.48214285714)6 ) 100 = 88.54 88.5
RQ = ((F1(2.04838709677 ) + F2(1.98387096774) + F3(1.29032258065) + F4(2.375)6 ) 100 = 128.29 128.3

Understanding a QB's Passer Rating

The QB Passer Rating is one of two statistics used to measure how successful the QB was on game day. Completion percentage in a game is the most important passer rating variable. This leads to quarterbacks who throw screens or other short passes will usually have a higher rating. It also neglects major parts of a quarterback's performance like sacks, fumbles, and running statistics.

However, what passer rating does reveal is that a game where a quarterback has over 400 yards does not mean they will have a good rating. Passer rating is focused on what the quarterback was able to do with those throws with an emphasis on touchdowns and interceptions.

Passer rating is a major stat used to calculate a QB performance that focuses on how efficient that QB was with his throws.


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