Saturday, March 9, 2019

Published March 09, 2019 by with 1 comment

Which Current Quarterbacks Will Make the Hall of Fame?

I took a stab at predicting which current and recent quarterbacks will make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
I've listed the top quarterbacks according to my scoring system (described here) and color-coded by Hall of Fame membership status.

= Already in
= Not yet eligible
= Eligible for less than 5 years
= Eligible for more than 5 years and not in

Tom Brady1.340.500.160.212.22
Peyton Manning1.450.
Steve Young1.530.
Joe Montana1.120.420.160.191.89
Aaron Rodgers1.
Roger Staubach1.060.390.100.141.70
Brett Favre1.
Drew Brees1.
Dan Marino1.
Dan Fouts1.
Ken Anderson0.930.
Kurt Warner0.700.320.090.091.19
Ben Roethlisberger0.720.
John Elway0.650.
Terry Bradshaw0.650.
Philip Rivers0.820.
Fran Tarkenton0.700.
Russell Wilson0.520.330.020.090.96
Donovan McNabb0.610.
Jim Kelly0.560.
Warren Moon0.690.
Bob Griese0.560.
Ken Stabler0.510.
Boomer Esiason0.650.
Tony Romo0.610.
Matt Ryan0.580.
Randall Cunningham0.560.
Troy Aikman0.310.
Rich Gannon0.370.
Joe Theismann0.300.
Steve McNair0.
Craig Morton0.300.
Mark Brunell0.
Jeff Garcia0.380.
Jim Plunkett0.
Jim Everett0.320.
Jim Hart0.300.
Vinny Testaverde0.
Phil Simms0.
Neil Lomax0.320.
Billy Kilmer0.
Carson Palmer0.
Matt Hasselbeck0.
Steve Bartkowski0.
Drew Bledsoe0.
Eli Manning0.
Jeff George0.
Ron Jaworski0.
Dave Krieg0.
Steve Grogan0.
Cam Newton0.
Matthew Stafford0.
Brad Johnson-
Ken O'Brien0.
Steve DeBerg0.
Chris Chandler-
Alex Smith-
Archie Manning0.
Joe Ferguson-
Jake Plummer-
Joe Flacco-
Lynn Dickey-
Kerry Collins-
Jim Zorn-
Jeff Blake-
Richard Todd-
Andy Dalton-
Jim Harbaugh-
Jay Cutler-
Dan Pastorini-0.390.110.010.00-0.27
Jon Kitna-0.430.000.000.01-0.43

They map to each other quite well.

Using these scores, I did some basic logistic regression to make predictions. I used all players that retired before 2010 as the training set and assigned a score of 1 for 'in' and 0 for 'not in'. I used all other players as the test data. The pseudo r^2 is ~0.8.

To make predictions now, I'll use tiers:
  • lock - these guys will almost certainly get in
  • maybe - decent shot but no guarantee they get in
  • no - seems really unlikely they'll get in


Scores above 1.2 define this tier. All QBs in the past that were in this range easily made it in. The active and recently retired QBs in this range are:
  • Tom Brady
  • Peyton Manning
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Drew Brees
I would be surprised if those 4 don't make it in at some point barring a massive controversy. Based on the regression results, Drew Brees has the lowest odds of getting in from this category, but he should be a lock for getting in eventually.


Scores above 0.85 define this tier. Most QBs in this tier make it, but it's not a guarantee. Ken Anderson and Boomer Esiason are here and have been eligible for a while now but are not in. Their lack of post-season success is the primary reason.

In all, there are 10 QBs in this tier that have been eligible for many years, and 8 of those 10 are in. The active and recently retired QBs in this range are:
  • Ben Roethlisberger
  • Phillip Rivers
  • Donovan McNabb
  • Russell Wilson
I personally feel like Russell Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger will get in barring a complete career collapse. but Rivers and McNabb are iffier. Neither has a Super Bowl win, and neither dominated their peers statistically like Marino and Fouts. I would be surprised if both McNabb and Rivers get in. Based on the regression, Russell Wilson is in the best position followed closely by Roethlisberger, McNabb is in good shape, and Rivers is very iffy.


Scores at or below 0.85 define this tier. Only 1 QB on this list has made it to the Hall of Fame from this tier, and it was Troy Aikman with 3 Super Bowl wins. There's a huge number of recent and active QBs in this tier so I won't list them all. Instead, I will list the ones that I think actually have a chance at making it in:
  • Matt Ryan: still playing at a very high level, Falcons are a good team, had one of the best seasons of all time (2016), and a Super Bowl win is likely enough to get him in
  • Eli Manning: played well enough throughout most of his career, has two Super Bowl MVP's, and stopped the Patriot's perfect season...the drama/underdog thing around that was really impactful
  • Cam Newton: will possibly end up as the most successful running QB in history, and has a somewhat unique style that makes him stand out
Based on the regression results, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, and Eli Manning (in that order) have the best shot from this group. I just can't see Flacco getting in with such abysmal numbers compared with his peers. He never even made the pro bowl.

Final interesting note

Based on the regression score, Warren Moon is the biggest shocker in the Hall of Fame. He is the only player below players that didn't get in. Rich Gannon, Joe Theismann, Ken Anderson, and Randall Cunningham all scored higher. However, much of his prime was in the CFL and is not accounted for here so that maybe played a big factor.


1 comment:

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