Throw accuracy is a controversial and poorly understood rating in Madden 13. Many quarterbacks who have high throw accuracy ratings frustrate players who have difficulty hitting open wide receivers with them (cough, cough Matt Ryan). One reason for this is Madden 13 divides accuracy into short, medium, and deep accuracy. The throw accuracy rating is not a single rating but a combination of these three ratings.
Warning: Math Ahead!
We ran a multiple regression analysis to determine the relative contributions of short accuracy, medium accuracy and deep accuracy to the throw accuracy rating. Our data set was the publicly released EA Sports complete player roster for Madden 13. We assumed that the short, medium, and deep accuracy ratings were independent.
Our regression analysis indicated that all three sub-ratings significantly contributed to the throw accuracy rating. The equation that best predicted the throw accuracy rating was THA = -1.7 + 0.641*SAC + 0.308*MAC + .060*DAC. This accounted for approximately 90% of the variability in the throw accuracy rating. This means that a quarterback with 0 in all three sub-ratings would have a predicted throw accuracy rating of -1.7. Even though this is obviously not possible, the quarterback accuracy sub-ratings were high enough for us to disregard this. For every one point increase in short accuracy rating, the throw accuracy rating would increase by 0.641 points. Similarly, for every 1 point increase in deep accuracy rating, the throw accuracy rating would increase by 0.060 points. This means that in general, short accuracy rating contributes about ten times as much to the throw accuracy rating as the deep accuracy rating does.
These weights do not accurately reflect the preferences of madden players. Therefore the throw accuracy rating as judged by the game is not representative of throw accuracy in a typical player vs player game. To illustrate the effect of different weights on throw accuracy, we adjusted the equation for throw accuracy such that the relative weights of short accuracy and deep accuracy were flipped (ADJUSTED THA = -1.7 + .0.060*SAC + 0.308*MAC + 0.641*DAC). We then compared the throw accuracy rating to our adjusted rating.
Okay The Math is Over!
For those of you who skipped or did not understand the math section, we developed an adjusted throw accuracy rating that we believe better represents the actual throw accuracy of quarterbacks in player vs. player games.
Below is a table comparing the game derived throw accuracy to our adjusted value. The quarterbacks are ranked by adjusted throw accuracy. Starters (or presumed starters) are highlighted in yellow. Backup quarterbacks are highlighted in teal.
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We found some results that did not surprise us based on player complaints. For instance, Matt Ryan is tied for the 24th best adjusted accuracy with such superstar quarterbacks as Ryan Mallett, Colin Kapernick, and Ryan Lindley. Another quarterback that often frustrates players, Matt Schaub, has his accuracy decrease from a game value of 90 to an adjusted value of 80, making him similiar to Josh Freeman and Brandon Weeden.
However, this also produced several surprises. First, both Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck have higher adjusted accuracy ratings than 3 time NFL MVP Peyton Manning. Second, the notoriously inaccurate Tim Tebow has an adjusted accuracy of 75 while Mark Sanchez, who has a game accuracy rating 8 points higher, has an adjusted accuracy of only 74. Third, Brock Osweiler has an adjusted accuracy rating in the top 15, which is by far the best of any backup and is in fact better than 18 starters.
What does this mean for your madden experience? We have a few suggestions. Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning grade out at least 5 points higher than any other quarterback including Drew Brees (game THA = 97). We also suggest that starting Tim Tebow is a viable strategy for Madden players who use the Jets, especially considering his advantages over Mark Sanchez in speed and throw power. Connected careers players may want to seriously consider any reasonable offer made for Peyton Manning as his backup (Brock Osweiler) is only 2 points worse in adjusted throw accuracy rating and has higher throw power. Also, Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck appear to be especially valuable in connected careers given that they are already top 10 quarterbacks by our adjusted throw accuracy measure.
Our methods can also be applied to individual playing styles. We suggest that your actual throw accuracy rating is a weighted average of the short, medium, and deep accuracy ratings with the weights proportional to the number of short, medium, and deep pass plays you typically run (go back and read the math section if you want to know what we mean). This suggests that you may be frustrated with a quarterback because he does not fit your playing style.
Madden School Pro Tip: Find a quarterback whose short, medium and deep accuracy ratings best fit your playing style. The game accuracy ratings do not take into account how you use your quarterback.