Sig Stats Snapshot: Dropped Passes per QB

| November 21, 2012

There are a lot of things that bother me in the NFL. How offensive lines take sole responsibility for the sacks their team gives up, or how much faith people put in yardage as a marker of a good (or bad) offense or defense.

But one of the things I really hate is when people make excuses for quarterbacks by saying they had a lot of dropped passes… as if their quarterback is the only guy.

Well, fortunately, we here at Pro Football Focus track these dropped passes with the staff applying simple criteria in deciding what constitutes one: could he get his hands on it and was it catchable.

It means that right now we can tell you which quarterback has suffered from the most dropped passes in the league and how that impacts their completion percentage.

Lions Not Helping Their QB

Few would argue that Matthew Stafford is having a year as good as his 2011, but then he’s not exactly getting a lot of help with his receivers and backs combining to drop a league-leading 33 passes. Titus Young may be in the doghouse now, but the chief culprits have been Calvin Johnson (nine) and Brandon Pettigrew (seven). The Lions’ season has been full of mistakes and not catching the ball has been one of them.

#
Name
Team
Drops
1 Matthew StaffordDET33
2 Brandon WeedenCLV32
3 Aaron RodgersGB31
4 Drew BreesNO30
4 Andrew LuckIND30
6 Peyton ManningDEN29
6 Tom BradyNE29
8 Carson PalmerOAK27
8 Blaine GabbertJAX27
10 Robert Griffin IIIWAS24
10 Ryan TannehillMIA24
12 Matt CasselKC23
12 Eli ManningNYG23
14 Matt RyanATL22
14 Mark SanchezNYJ22
16 Matt SchaubHST20
16 Tony RomoDAL20
16 Jay CutlerCHI20
19 Sam BradfordSL19
20 Ryan FitzpatrickBUF18
21 Russell WilsonSEA17
22 Ben RoethlisbergerPIT16
22 Christian PonderMIN16
22 Michael VickPHI16
22 Josh FreemanTB16
26 Andy DaltonCIN15
26 Cam NewtonCAR15
28 Jake LockerTEN14
28 Matt HasselbeckTEN14
30 Philip RiversSD13
30 Joe FlaccoBLT13
32 Alex D. SmithSF12
32 John SkeltonARZ12
34 Kevin KolbARZ10

Percentage of attempts that are dropped? (Page 2)

Pages: 1 2 3

  • dave

    Everyone is calling for Colin Kaepernick but….oh my

  • just curious

    My apologies if this is already covered in Premium stats (haven’t fit it into my budget yet; I’m a college student, have pity) but I’m curious about the average depth of the drops on these quarterbacks. Obviously we’re starting to narrow the data pool to the point where it isn’t completely statistically reliable if you break drops down further, but there is also a definite difference in the impact of say 4 balls dropped on drag patterns only a few yards deep and 4 balls dropped when the receiver has already managed to get behind the defense

    • Ben

      Yes! I was thinking of the same thing. I’m a premium subscriber and I can say this would be an excellent addition to the signature stats package.

      My 2 cents worth: find out if the drop percentages change with the depth of passes. If they do, adjust the QBs’ adjusted completion pct. according to the depth of their passes, either by their average depth (easier) or the expected comp. pct. for each of their individual passes (harder but more comprehensive).

  • Sick

    Oh great, here we go. More flacco bashing

  • Taylor

    I think a more accurate way to display the effect of dropped passes would be to show the percentage of dropped passes per pass attempt. Obviously a team in the top 10 pass attempts are also going to be in the top 10 of drops.

    • Taylor

      Example: Stafford, #1 on your list, has attempted 427 passes and 33 were dropped. This means 7.7% of his passes were dropped. RG3, #10 on your list, has attempted 277 passes and 24 were dropped. This means 8.6% of his passes were dropped. Redskins have clearly suffered more from dropped passes than the Lions.

      • Neil

        Taylor, I think you need to move onto page 2 & 3

        • Taylor

          I just looked at Page 2 & Page 3, my apologies!

    • Dan

      Taylor is right. Many of the teams that like to air the ball out a lot have their QB at the top of these rankings…

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1374791704 Lars Lundahl

        Like Denver and GB

        • Jack

          GB is #3 in drops and the %.

  • Hippiekilla

    You would think that someone who takes the time and effort to post a comment about a story would at least read the entire article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Benjamin-F-Barnes-Sr/717949335 Benjamin F. Barnes Sr.

    Dropped passes on third down are more important. Kills a rhythm and causes field goals and prevents a QB more reps.

    • Ben

      But they’re way too random. Unless somebody can prove that there are receivers that consistently drop passes on 3rd down but not on 1st & 2nd.

  • Guest

    Would it be possible to also factor in potential interceptions that were dropped by the defender too?

  • AKTurbo

    Dropped passes are one thing, I would like to see statistics changed to show turnovers- specifically interceptions- charged to the receiver or back who’s hands the ball just deflected out of… Tired of seeing QB’s charged with an interception when the throw is clearly altered in some way by the targeted player… This would be a valuable statistic not only here in the dropped passes report but for overall QB numbers as well…

  • Michael W George

    I would like to see the number of dropped passes by DOWN. Which team has the most dropped passes on 3rd down, for instance, which in effect stops most drives dead in their tracks.