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EA's Donny Moore vs PFF (Pro Football Focus Ratings) 
Posted on September 12, 2013 at 07:38 PM.
Donny Moore vs PFF 2012 on the OL

INTRODUCTION
In all of the analysis of Donny Moore (EA) vs. PFF 2012 it should be noted that only grades from PFF with a 25% filter were used. This means many backups are not compared because there wasnt enough data. Some of the discrepancies may also be as a result of Donny Moore trying to capture expected improvements from last year. A rookie last year is expected to be better this season so one could expect a higher grade in Madden 25 than 2012s Pro Football Focus grades. It should also be pointed out that it would be very difficult to do straight conversions from PFF to EAs database since EA uses many variables but a good comparison can identify potential issues.

OFFENSIVE GUARD
The overall, run block and pass block ratings used in Madden are very comparable to the Pro Football Focus Overall, run block and pass block ratings when you examine them. The number of snaps each OL plays also has a minor role but its largely about the grades. We have 62 players with enough data to compare.

Pass Blocking
The pass blocking grades looked really good when you compare the two data sets. There is an 83.5% correlation between the two. Based on 62 guards (basically the average of all starting guards) the average pass block rating is just over 81.
The regression formula works out to be EAPassBlock = 76.1 + 0.87 * PFFPassBlock + 0.005 * snaps.
So basically you start at 76. If you played 1000 snaps last year (about average for a starter) you get a 5 point bonus which brings you to the average 81. Then you add PFFs pass block rating which centers around 0. A good pass blocker is higher and a bad pass blocker is lower. This formula gives very good results in terms of matching up EA vs PFF. 79% of the players are within 5% of each other this way. I think that is excellent. There are some outliers.

Over-rated List
Player EA Pass Block PFF 2012 Suggestion
Carl Nicks 90 81.6
Louis Vasquez 97 88.7
Danny Watkins 79 72.6
Harvey Dahl 92 84.8
Kevin Zeitler 94 89.1

Under-rated List

Player EA Pass Block PFF 2012 Suggestion
John Greco 74 80.1
John Moffitt 72 79.0
Nate Livings 73 80.2
Matt Slauson 76 84.6
John Jerry 71 84.5

The worst player rated by far is John Jerry. Hes a big Miami Dolphins guard but despite his size has always been a good pass blocker and poor run blocker. EA has this reversed as we will also see him show up as an outlier in the over-rated run blocking list.



Run Blocking
The average run blocking grade EA uses is higher than pass blocking at 84.4 for these 62 players. We still have a very high correlation between EA and PFFs run blocking grades at 82.2%. The interesting thing here is that snaps were not significant so the formula is very simple to compare each other.
EARunBlock = 83.9 + PFFRunBlock. Its very simple. If you scored a 0 by PFF your EA run block rating would be 83.9 for these 62 starters. 82% of the players have grades that are within 5% of each other (almost match). There are some outliers but most arent too bad. It should be noted that both Nicks and Mankins were hurt and under-performed in 2012 which is reflected in the PFF rankings.


Over-Rated List

Player EA Run Block PFF 2012 Suggestion
John Jerry 86 78.8
Logan Mankins 95 87.6
Matt Slauson 88 81.5
Carl Nicks 93 86.8
Jeff Allen 81 76.7


Under-rated List

Player EA Run Block PFF 2012 Suggestion
Rob Sims 81 85.6
Paul McQuistan 76 81.0
Chris Kuper 76 83.1
Daryn Colledge 73 79.9
Charlie Johnson 73 81.1


OVERALL GRADES

How do EAs overall grades compare when PFFs overalls? The overall ratings have an 83% correlation although only 69.4% are within 5% of each others grades on the final regression. This is worse than the run and pass blocking results but still pretty decent imo. The average overall EA grade is 81.2 and the formula from PFF to get there is 74.8 + 0.48*overallPFF + 0.006*snaps. So a guard with 1000 snaps gets a 6 point boost putting their overall grade at 80.8 plus a half a point (up/down) for each overall PFF point. The fact the PFF factor is only 0.48 hints that PFF has a wide spread of values while EAs range is half as big.


When looking at the over and under-rated list you can see Carl Nicks leads the way. This is a result of his past ratings. 2012 was a bad year for him along with injury. I can understand EA keeping him high. Same goes for Mankins and the rest arent too bad. Evan Mathis would have to be capped at 99 so nothing EA can do there. The under-rated list isnt that bad either. Nate Livings has the biggest beef but last year was a career year for him. For Nate 2012 was by far his best PFF rating in his career.

Over-Rated List


Player EA Overall PFF 2012 Suggestion
Carl Nicks 95 81.7
Logan Mankins 94 83.9
Andy Levitre 96 89.2
Harvey Dahl 89 83.0
Kory Lichtensteiger 80 75.3

Under-rated List

Player EA Overall PFF 2012 Suggestion
Tyronne Green 74 79.0
John Greco 77 83.5
Evan Mathis 98 106.3
Clint Boling 78 85.0
Nate Livings 78 86.8


OFFENSIVE TACKLE

The overall, run block and pass block ratings used in Madden are very comparable to the Pro Football Focus Overall, run block and pass block ratings when you examine them. The number of snaps each OL plays also has a minor role but its largely about the grades. We have 71 players with enough data to compare. The average ratings for EA are 84.0 pass block, 84.2 run block and 80.7 overall for these 71 tackles. I do feel that EAs ratings are not spread enough when the average pass and run block for 71 tackles in the league is 84.

Pass Blocking
EAs Pass blocking is correlated with PFFs rating at 88.6%. That is very close!
The formula is EAPassBlock = 77.6 + 0.63*PFFPassblock + 0.005*snaps. So again 1000 snaps (typical for a starter) adds 5 points to their rating. 76% of the players ratings were within 5% of each other. I think these results are very good. Some of the players on the over-rated list did not have good years last year due to injury potentially. Jake Long had the worst year of his career and Bulaga did not play well in his short season either. Well see if they bounce back.


Over-Rated List

Player EA Pass Block PFF 2012 Suggestion
Tyron Smith 90 80.8
Jake Long 91 83.2
Dennis Kelly 82 75.9
Bryan Bulaga 86 80.2
David Stewart 95 89.8

Under-rated List

Player EA Pass Block PFF 2012 Suggestion
Austin Howard 73 79.9
Khalif Barnes 73 80.2
Phil Loadholt 79 87.4
Winston Justice 74 83.3
Doug Free 69 80.3


Run Blocking
EAs Run blocking is correlated with PFFs rating at 81.8%. That is good.
The formula is EARunBlock = 80.4 + 0.70*PFFRunblock + 0.045*snaps. So again 1000 snaps (typical for a starter) adds 4 points to their rating. 87% of the players ratings were within 5% of each other! I think these results are very good. Some of the players on the over-rated list did not have good years last year due to injury potentially. Jake Long had the worst year of his career and Bulaga did not play well in his short season either. Well see if they bounce back.


Over-Rated List

Again, Bulaga was dinged last year (still possibly inflated) and Jonathon Martin was a rookie. These could make sense. But Joe Thomas has had a negative run blocking grade for two straight years on PFF. I think his reputation as an elite pass blocker and elite player gives him too much benefit of the doubt. He hasnt been a great run blocker since 2009.

Player EA Run Block PFF 2012 Suggestion
Bryan Bulaga 92 81.0
David Diehl 86 80.6
Joe Thomas 88 82.7
Phil Loadholt 97 92.1
Jonathan Martin 84 80.2


Under-rated List

Jeff Linkenbach had a better year for him and is not a good player but his ratings are backwards similarly to John Jerry at G. EA gives him pass and run block ratings of 78 and 68 when the PFF ratings indicate they should be 74 and 78 respectively. His run block is too low by 10 points.

Player EA Run Block PFF 2012 Suggestion
Eric Winston 85 89.3
Ryan Harris 75 80.2
J'Marcus Webb 76 83.8
Dennis Kelly 70 77.4
Jeff Linkenbach 68 77.9


Overall

EAs overall rating has an 84.9% correlation with PFFs overall rating. That is very strong.
The formula is EAOverall = 73 + 0.42 * PFFOverall + 0.007*snaps. So the base is 73 and a 1000 snap player gets a 7 point bonus to get to 80 overall. Then the overall rating of PFF adjusts EAs overall rating. Again, PFFs ratings are more spread as a full point difference adjusts EAs rating point by less than half. Only 66% of these tackles are within 5% of their overall so its a bit lower than the other attributes. A few of the over-rated players hurt this number.


Over-Rated List

Diehl is over-rated period by EA. Bell had a terrible year last year and may bounce back. Weve already discussed injury riddled/poor seasons by Long and Bulaga. Again, these are what the ratings should have been just going by their 2012 performance as rated by PFF.

Player EA Overall PFF 2012 Suggestion
David Diehl 85 73.3
Demetress Bell 75 65.6
Jake Long 88 77.7
David Stewart 90 82.3
Bryan Bulaga 82 75.7


Under-rated List
I honestly know almost nothing about any of the guys on this list lol. They didnt play a lot of snaps as four of them had less than 450 snaps. Only Bradfield had a lot at almost 750. I do think Bradfield got short changed. Willie Smith is horrible at pass protection but his run blocking is average. Looking at the predicted values I believe its the other ratings EA uses for him that causes him to be too low (like strength, agility, etc). Nothing too awful.

Player EA Overall PFF 2012 Suggestion
Ryan Harris 70 77.5
Cameron Bradfield 68 75.6
Donald Stephenson 65 72.7
Jonathan Scott 64 71.8
Willie Smith 60 68.3


CENTER

The overall, run block and pass block ratings used in Madden are very comparable to the Pro Football Focus Overall, run block and pass block ratings when you examine them. The number of snaps each OL plays also has a minor role but its largely about the grades. We have 29 players with barely enough data to compare. The average ratings for EA are 82.9 pass block, 86.0 run block and 82.2 overall for these 29 centers.


Pass Blocking
EAs Pass blocking is correlated with PFFs rating at 81%.
The formula is EAPassBlock = 81.4 + 1*PFFPassblock + 0.003*snaps. So again 1000 snaps (typical for a starter) adds 3 points to their rating. The base rating then is 82 for 1000 snaps and the ratings are using the same weight as PFF. +1 from PFF adds a full point to the overall. 76% of the players ratings were within 5% of each other which is very good.

The over-rated list isnt that bad. Scott Wells gets a boost from his reputation and play prior to 2012.

Over-Rated

Player EA Pass Block PFF 2012 Suggestion
Scott Wells 87 81.4
Maurkice Pouncey 88 83.6
Brian De La Puente 92 87.7
Will Montgomery 90 85.9


Garza is the most under-rated in terms of pass blocking but his pass blocking was bad in 2011 and 2010. It got a lot better in 2012 (good in 2009 too). I can see Donnie using his history to influence that decision but he may be too low. Maybe he didnt like his commercial with Cutler last year?

Under-Rated

Player EA Pass Block PFF 2012 Suggestion
Robert Turner 82 87.1
Fernando Velasco 78 83.1
Ryan Cook 74 80.5
Roberto Garza 77 84.9


Run Blocking
EAs Pass blocking is correlated with PFFs rating at 81%.
The formula is EAPassBlock = 78.3 + 0.737*PFFRunblock + 0.005*snaps. So again 1000 snaps (typical for a starter) adds 5 points to their rating. The base rating then is 82.3 for 1000 snaps and the ratings are using a slightly lower weight than PFF. 90% of the players ratings were within 5% of each other which is excellent.

Over-Rated

It appears Donny Moore sees Garza as a better run blocker than he is and a worse pass protector than he is. He shows up in both pass and run blocking outlier lists. Similar to John Jerry his ratings would be much better if they were simply swapped. Samson Satele is not a great run blocker but his rating is only off three points and hes the fourth worst of 29. Pretty darn good.


Player EA Run Block PFF 2012 Suggestion
Roberto Garza 83 77.4
Fernando Velasco 94 88.1
Maurkice Pouncey 89 84.9
Samson Satele 86 82.9

Under-Rated

I listed the worst four but they are all really good. The only outlier would be Dominc Raiola imo. Hes largely been viewed as an undersized center most of his career. He was merely average at run blocking last year with the previous two years being a large negative. Hes also older so I dont see a problem with this. His pass blocking is a near perfect match.

Player EA Run Block PFF 2012 Suggestion
Ryan Wendell 98 102.5
Robert Turner 78 81.6
Jeff Faine 69 72.4
Dominic Raiola 77 84.3


Overall

EAs overall rating has an 82.7% correlation with PFFs overall rating. That is very good.
The formula is EAOverall = 71 + 0.442 * PFFOverall + 0.009*snaps. So the base is 71 and a 1000 snap player gets a 9 point bonus to get to 80 overall. The snap bonus seems high. Then the overall rating of PFF adjusts EAs overall rating. Again, PFFs ratings are more spread as a full point difference adjusts EAs rating point by less than half. 72% of these centers are within 5% of their overall so its decent.



Over-Rated
Scott Wells was over-rated in pass protection and that has helped make him the most over-rated player. I believe Satele is a bit over-rated as is Mangold. Mangolds numbers from PFF have slid each of the last three years.

Player EA Overall PFF 2012 Suggestion
Scott Wells 80 72.6
Maurkice Pouncey 88 82.7
Samson Satele 78 73.8
Nick Mangold 94 89.9


Under-Rated
A few centers that didnt play a ton are under-rated. Ryan Cook is the worst at almost 10 points. Hes not a great player and last year was his best. He graded out well in run blocking and EA grades this well but short changes him in his pass blocking.

Player EA Overall PFF 2012 Suggestion
Ted Larsen 73 77.5
A.Q. Shipley 73 78.3
Robert Turner 72 79.4
Ryan Cook 72 81.2
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