What is the NFL Passer Rating?

What is the NFL Passer Rating

The NFL continues favoring statistics to make informed decisions about a player’s performance. One stat for Quarterbacks in the National Football League to measure the effectiveness of their play is the Passer Rating. While the formula has remained consistent since 1973, there are some critics of the formula. Here is the breakdown of the NFL passer rating, what a good number is, the calculation with an example, and more.


What is the NFL Passer Rating?

The NFL passer rating metric calculates the effectiveness of a quarterback throwing a football during a game. In each football game, an NFL QB’s passing performance calculates pass attempts, pass completions, passing yards, touchdown passes, and interceptions. The NFL passer rating scale goes from 0 up to 158.3


What’s a Good Quarterback Rating?

what is a good quarterback rating

The best QBR is 158.3, but anything above 95 during a game is a fantastic performance by the NFL Quarterback. QB’s that are in the 80-94 range had a good showing with their ability to be an effective quarterback. Terrible QB’s are anything below the 80 range, which is most likely a combination of incomplete passes, lack of touchdowns, and interceptions given to the defensive team.


Who has the Worst QB Rating?

The worst QB rating belongs to Nathan Peterman. Nathan Peterman was a QB for the Buffalo Bills but struggled in the league. Nathan ended his career with a QB passer rating of 32.5.


Can Anyone Throw a 0 for a QB Passer Rating?

Throughout the history of the NFL, there have been 0 QB Passer rating games. To throw a 0 via a passer rating, you must throw interceptions, record no passing touchdowns, throw for less than 3 yards a play on average, and complete less than 30% of your attempts. 


As of 2021, 60 unique quarterbacks have this unfortunate stat line next to their name. You can check out the American Football Database to see the entire QB list throwing a 0 vis a passer rating. 


What is a Perfect Passer Rating Score?

what is a perfect passer rating score

A perfect QB passing stats score has to have the following criteria points:


  1. You need to have a 77.5% pass completion rate with a minimum of ten passes.
  2. The QB needs to throw at least 12.5 yards per successful pass completion.
  3. 11.875% touchdown to attempt rate.
  4. The NFL quarterback needs not to throw any interactions during their passing attempts. 


According to Wikipedia, as of June 2021, sixty-four players have achieved a Perfect Passer Rating score. Out of that sixty-four player list, eight have this score at least twice in their career. Some of the names include Kurt Warner, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger. Check out the complete list from Wikipedia to see the entire list here. 


How Do You Calculate QB Passer Rating?

how do you calculate qb passer rating

QB Rating = ((Pass Completions / Pass Attempts -30) * .05) + ((Pass Yards / Pass Attempts – 3) *.25) + ((Passing Touchdowns / Pass Attempts) *.2) + (2.375 – (Passing Interceptions / Passing Attempts) *.25) / 6 *100


Another way to look at the formula is to break the sections out into smaller chunks. Here is the formula below simply and easily to understand.


QB Rating = (a+b+c+d) / 6 * 100


Example of the Formula

The formula above may seem confusing at first glance, so let’s make an example of what a QB does for one game. Let’s say a QB had 25 pass attempts, 15 pass completions, 300 passing yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. The best way to look at this formula is with the summary below. Also, you can play around with the formula on Brucey.net.


  1. A: 15 / 25 = .60% or 60. 60-30 = 30 *.05 = 1.5
  2. B: 300 / 25 = 12 – 3 = 9. 9 *.25 = 2.25
  3. C: 3 / 25 = .12% or 12. 12 * .2 = 2.4 (TD rating must be 2.375 or less, so this goes to 2.375 by default)
  4. D: (1 / 25) * 100 = 4. 4 * .25 = 1. 2.375 – 1 = 1.375


Formula= (1.5 + 2.25 + 2.375 + 1.375) = 7.5

7.5 / 6 = 1.25

1.25 * 100 = 125

125 = QB Passer Rating


Does the Formula Have Flaws?

does the passer rating formula have flaws

There are flaws in the NFL Quarterback Passer Rating formula, though. For example, the procedure tends to favor pass attempts and the completion percentage rate over the effectiveness of the throw. For instance, a QB who throws short 1 yard passes might yield a high completion percentage in passes but cannot get their team the first down if they only pick up three yards in three downs. While total passing yards are part of the formula, reaching a high percentage of pass completions can give misleading data.


Another drawback of the formula is neglecting other vital stats. For example, the calculation does not consider a QB’s rush attempts, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, fumbles, and sacks. Some quarterbacks like Dak Prescott can throw and run on a play, but the running aspect does not become part of the formula. 



In summary, the QB Passer rating is an excellent way to measure the effectiveness of a quarterback’s performance during a football game. While the rating system has some flaws, it has been around since the ’70s, so it’s a fantastic benchmark to compare quarterbacks from different eras. As stats continue to make headway into the game of football, you can expect more sophisticated formulas and equations to make it into Fantasy Football leagues and general fan discussions.


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