## Is Colin Kaepernick the most Clutch quarterback in the NFL?

I determined this by looking at Win Probability Added (WPA) and Expected Points Added (EPA). For Reference from AdvancedNFLstats.com:

Win Probability Added (WPA) – The difference between a team’s Win Probability (WP) at the start of a play and the WP at the end of the play. WPA is the measure of a play’s impact on the outcome of a game. An individual player’s WPA is the sum of the WPA of the plays in which that player was directly involved. Being directly involved is defined as an offensive player who ran, threw, or kicked the ball, was targeted by a pass, or flagged for a penalty. Defensive players are credited for WPA when they tackle or sack the ball carrier, are credited with an assisted tackle or sack, cause a fumble, defend a pass, or are flagged for a penalty.

Expected Points Added (EPA) – The difference between the Expected Points (EP) at the start of a play and the EP at the end of they play. EPA is the measure of a play’s impact on the score of the game. An individual player’s EPA is the sum of the EPA of the plays in which that player was directly involved. Being directly involved is defined as an offensive player who ran, threw, or kicked the ball, was targeted by a pass, or flagged for a penalty.

What I did is look at EPA/p and WPA/p. EPA is raw performance while WPA is how much a play actually contributes to winning the game. Here are the top 10 NFL quarterbacks based on WPA/p:

 Rank Player WPA/p 1 7-B.Roethlisberger 0.0087 2 7-C.Kaepernick 0.0086 3 2-M.Ryan 0.0085 4 12-T.Brady 0.0077 5 12-A.Rodgers 0.0071 6 12-A.Luck 0.0071 7 8-M.Schaub 0.0068 8 9-T.Romo 0.0061 9 10-R.Griffin 0.0057 10 18-P.Manning 0.0055

As you can see, Kaepernick is tied for #1 with Ryan and Big Ben. Smith is 22nd. But what if we compare EPA/p to WPA/p. I did a regression and we get a very nice fit, r^2 = .75.

I then looked at expected WPA/p based on raw performance vs. what the quarterback's actual WPA was. And when I do that, Kaepernick is by far and away #1 in the NFL, 2.5 standard deviations above mean. The following list shows the gap between actual and expected WPA/p:

 Rank Player Exceeded Expectation 1 7-C.Kaepernick 0.00437 2 17-R.Tannehill 0.00348 3 11-B.Gabbert 0.00324 4 7-B.Roethlisberger 0.00241 5 8-S.Bradford 0.00239 6 12-A.Luck 0.00225 7 9-T.Romo 0.0021 8 9-N.Foles 0.00168 9 8-M.Hasselbeck 0.00163 10 5-J.Flacco 0.00155

On this measure, Smith is also 22nd, and contributes less to wins than his stat-line indicates.

Thoughts?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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