Carson Palmer, Cardinals
The level at which Palmer played for the Oakland Raiders last season should add about 2.8 victories relative to how the Cardinals' quarterbacks played last season. ESPN Stats & Information revised that figure down from 3.8 based on more accurate QBR scores for Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer.
The methodology is pretty simple. We first average the 2012 single-game QBR scores for Palmer (44.2) and for the Cardinals' team as a whole (26.9). We then convert the difference between those figures (17.3) into percentage points and multiply by the number of games in an NFL regular season (16). The resulting figure approximates the number of added victories Arizona might realize if Palmer were to play at a similar level in 2013. For Palmer, it is 17.3 percent of 16 games, or about 2.8 games.
So, while QBR said Palmer was below average last season, it said the Cardinals were much worse than that. That is why Palmer can make such a big difference for Arizona even if he is once again slightly below average. And if Palmer were to pump up his play to a Pro Bowl level -- say, the 65.0 range on average -- the Cardinals could expect 6.1 additional victories over last season from the quarterback position alone.
Alex Smith is rated in absentia
The 49ers were already a very good team when Kaepernick took over as the starting quarterback last season after former starter Alex Smith suffered a concussion (Kaepernick kept the job when Smith was healthy enough to play). Smith was playing at a high level, so the 49ers had less room for improvement.
Still, the numbers say Kaepernick (73.3 average QBR) provided an upgrade amounting to an additional 1.6 victories over a full regular season relative to what the team could have expected with Smith (63.0 average). The figure would grow to 2.9 additional victories with Kaepernick (versus 1.2 with the improved 2012 version of Smith) relative to the quarterback play San Francisco received in 2011.
Those numbers take into account how Kaepernick played during the regular season, when he started the final seven games. Factoring his performance in the playoffs would change the figures upward very slightly.
Matt generated a 36.5 QBR for the 2012 season
Brady generated a 24.7 QBR for the 2012 season
Chiefs QB's combined
A QBR of 31.95 per game for the 2012 season
As Stated above Alex Smith had a 63 QBR average per game
Plus 31.05 (63 - 31.95) points of QBR difference per game would be the improved QB play of the Chiefs from 2012 with Alex Smith at QB. 3 wins more?
So, while QBR said Palmer (44 grade) was below average last season, it said the Cardinals were much worse than that. That is why Palmer can make such a big difference for Arizona even if he is once again slightly below average. And if Palmer were to pump up his play to a Pro Bowl level -- say, the 65.0 range on average -- the Cardinals could expect 6.1 additional victories over last season from the quarterback position alone.
SO let's see Carson Palmer would garner an additional 2.8 wins for the Arizona Cardinals (5-11 in 2012) if he plays like he did last season. A 7-9 or 8-8 season, but if he reverts to a 65 QBR QB he would add 6 victories to the Cardinals or an 11-5 Season in 2013.
The Chiefs QB's were little better than the Cardinals (31.95 > 26.9) and the proposed replacement is far better than Carson Palmer (63 > 44 even in the new math).
So minimum 3 games better, or 6 games better than the 2012 version of the Chiefs?
I wonder what a NFL Head Coach is worth in Wins?