October 2015 – Cato or Glenn – A Look At Quarterback Passer Ratings

Let’s start with the basics. Quarterback Passer Rating. QPR is an amalgam of facts attempting to appraise a given QB’s TRUE value and performance. I like to use THIS online calculator. Pass attempts, completions, passing yards, touchdowns and interceptions are combined to give a composite sketch of how well a quarterback is doing. So… as of October 18th (pregame):

Rakeem Cato:(ATT)251 (COMP)174 (YDS)2,167 (TD)9 (INT)9 (QPR)92.8
Kevin Glenn:(ATT)257 (COMP)171 (YDS)2,174 (TD)9 (INT)10 (QPR)88.2

So…without ANY other considerations…Cato, a 23 yr old rookie has a better rating than Glenn, a 15 yr CFL veteran. What ISN’T considered is the quality of receivers available to each quarterback. It’s all well and good to log completions…but a quarterback who has the good fortune to have a GREAT receiver squad will invariably look GREAT…and the best QB in the world will look confused and uncertain if his receivers drop the ball regularly. I think Henry Burris and Mike Reilly would dig where I’m coming from here.

Receiving percentage is a relatively new statistic. Simply put, it divides the number of receptions by the number of times a receiver is targeted. Here’s a list of overall team reception percentages in the CFL at this point:


So I got to wondering if Cato’s Quarterback Rating would go up if reception percentages were taken into account. While exact mathematical validity is disputable here, there’s NO QUESTION that in a 3-down game…receiver drops are DRIVE KILLERS. A quarterback’s entire career can be decimated by a bad receiver squad…so I’ll let this analysis stand on it’s own.

Dividing Quarterback Rating by Reception Percentage elevates the appraisal of any quarterback with unreliable receivers, and lends perspective to the relative performance of a quarterback with GREAT receivers. So…for QB’s with 200 passes or more:

QPR-Adjusted With Reception%             QPR-Unadjusted

Collaros (HAM) 162.7                            Collaros (HAM) 113.7
Harris (TOR) 151.0                                Harris (TOR) 106.3
Burris (OTT) 145.0                                 Burris (OTT) 101.8
Cato (MTL) 144.3                                  Mitchell (CGY) 92.9
Mitchell (CGY) 143.1                              Cato (MTL) 92.8
Glenn (SSK) 136.5                                 Glenn (SSK) 88.2
Reilly (EDM) 133.4                                 Lulay (BC) 83.3
Lulay (BC) 132.2                                   Reilly (EDM) 81.8
Nichols (EDM) 128.5                              Nichols (EDM) 78.8

A cursory analysis tells us that quarterbacks like Mike Reilly and Rakeem Cato have been under-evaluated due to the lack of support from their receivers. What’s also of interest is how Cato has snuck up just behind Henry Burris in adjusted QPR. Hank’s having a good year…and it’s obvious that receivers like Sinopoli, Williams and Ellingson are the main reason. Again it’s surprising to see how Cato’s evaluation brightens in comparison when you factor in the less reliable receiver corp.

Delving deeper we see that BOTH Reilly and Cato have “primary” receivers with some severe reliability issues:

Adarius Bowman has been targeted 124 times this season (most in the CFL) , caught 63 for a reception% of 50.8%. SJ Green has been targeted 102 times (most on Alouettes) caught 53 for 53.9%. (Green’s 1st game with Kevin Glenn illustrates THIS point clearly. I counted AT LEAST 5 drops)

Looking around the league…teams’ MOST targeted have percentages of:

69.8%(Moore WPG)
66.7% (Jackson OTT)
66,1%(Rogers CGY)
63.2%(Toliver HAM)
62.5%(Arceneaux BC)
61.8% (Hazelton TOR)
57.3% (Dressler SASK)
53.9%(Green MTL)
50.8%(Bowman EDM)

Teams with the more reliable group of receivers have generally the most success, and the MTR (most targeted receiver) has a LOT to say about it.

It would seem that Cato’s options have been pretty “thin” and yet…from the stats…he’s managed to put together an impressive season with an adjusted quarterback rating only SLIGHTLY below that of Henry Burris.

Next up on Montreal Alouettes BLOG:

From Beasts of the East to Toads in the Hole

Irreconcilable Differences: Cato’s Skillset vs Calvillo’s Mindset

Deciphering Alouettes Poppaganda

Creating and Maintaining a Quarterback Carousel-For Dummies


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