QB Pressure Profiles: NFC West

| July 22, 2013

We’re back at it again with a deep dive into the PFF Database as we continue to reveal a plethora of numbers regarding pressure and its effect on the quarterback. To recap, in the last few months we’ve looked at pressure’s impact on the passer from different angles and from that data, drew the conclusion that the left tackle might be overrated. From there, we broke it down by quarterback and revealed the league’s best and worst when pressure comes from different places. Now it’s time to take the next step and look at “pressure profiles” for every quarterback in the league.

As always, sample size caveats apply in some cases, but the numbers draw from our five years of data going back to 2008. There are certainly trends for some quarterbacks, while others are a bit more scattershot in their performance when pressure comes from different angles.

When looking at the numbers, keep in mind that PFF Grade is the best indicator of a player’s performance as we isolate the quarterback’s impact on every single play. If he throws a wide receiver screen that goes for an 80-yard touchdown, the numbers will look pretty, but the QB is credited with the same grade he would earn if it was stopped for no gain. Similarly, a perfectly thrown pass that should be a first down but is dropped and intercepted will likely earn a positive grade despite the ugly INT in the stats. All of the stats are nice to get some perspective but PFF Grade always trumps as more reliable.

With that said, let’s take a look at the quarterbacks from the NFC West and how they fare under pressure. To see the QBs covered previously, click here: AFC EastAFC NorthAFC South, AFC WestNFC East, NFC North, NFC South.

 

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

Strength: Edge Pressure
Weakness: Interior Pressure

Is Palmer finally the answer to the Cardinals’ carousel of questionable quarterback play? Arizona signal-callers have littered the bottom end of the most dubious charts in recent pressure articles, and while Palmer may be an upgrade, his best years are likely behind him. He’s done his best work when pressure comes off the edge (+3.3), but it’s the interior pressure (-8.7) that’s given him the most trouble. Palmer joins a Cardinals team that featured one of the worst offensive lines in the league, but last year’s second half improvement from right tackle Bobby Massie, and the addition of first-round left guard Jonathan Cooper will give the line a chance to put 2012 in the rearview.

Pressure
Drop-backs
Comp%
Yds
Yds/Att
TD
INT
Sack%
Knockdown%
PFF Grade
QB Rating
ALL225860.69%147427.086684.8%12.1%6.881.9
NP160663.80%115367.366440.0%0.0%26.487.9
P65251.33%32066.1202416.7%41.9%-19.763.9
LT7657.63%3435.84213.2%30.3%1.082.8
LG7651.43%4456.4276.6%36.8%-3.541.4
C3444.44%1646.11211.8%29.4%-2.545.9
RG6045.28%2404.51110.0%35.0%-2.757.1
RT12655.34%7777.52317.5%40.5%2.374.0
TE2666.67%22110.52215.4%38.5%-0.293.7
RB3641.38%1515.22219.4%47.2%-1.152.5
QB120.00%00.00050.0%75.0%-5.539.6
MUL8245.10%2625.12337.8%63.4%-5.249.6
UNB12453.21%6035.54211.3%41.9%-2.174.1

 

Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

Strength: RT
Weakness: LT

With only 117 career drop-backs under pressure, Kaepernick’s sample sizes are rather small. The most glaring number on his chart is his +30.4 grade from a clean pocket. When he has faced pressure, Kaepernick has fared very well when it comes from right tackle (+2.2, 101.5 QB Rating) while left tackle pressure has been less kind (-1.5, 33.3 QB Rating). The 49ers feature top players along the entire front five, so look for Kaepernick to continue his ascent toward the top quarterbacks in the league.

Pressure
Drop-backs
Comp%
Yds
Yds/Att
TD
INT
Sack%
Knockdown%
PFF Grade
QB Rating
ALL36062.05%26478.71455.8%11.7%29.198.7
NP24366.81%21589.51420.0%0.0%30.4114.5
P11748.05%4896.40317.9%35.9%-1.352.4
LT1050.00%427.00130.0%30.0%-1.533.3
LG1842.86%1007.10211.1%33.3%-0.828.0
C1057.14%365.1000.0%40.0%-1.071.1
RG1071.43%578.10010.0%50.0%-0.595.5
RT1871.43%679.60027.8%38.9%2.2101.5
TE425.00%82.0000.0%25.0%-1.239.6
RB850.00%477.8000.0%0.0%2.676.4
MUL1462.50%8310.40042.9%64.3%-2.197.4
UNB2327.78%492.7008.7%21.7%1.539.6

 

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Strength: Right side pressure, unblocked pressure
Weakness: QB

Wilson’s emergence was one of the league’s top stories last season, as he finished the year with an outstanding +49.3 grade, even more impressive when achieved by a third-round rookie. Among the many parts of Wilson’s game that stood out, he was among the league’s best when pressured as he graded at +10.9. He was particularly strong when facing heat from the right side, as right guard and right tackle pressure resulted in a +8.2 grade. In addition, Wilson has the highest grade of any quarterback when facing unblocked pressure, with an impressive +6.1. Perhaps the only weakness he showed was his tendency to hold the ball too long, as we assigned Wilson with 21 pressures, including nine sacks, and his -3.5 grade on QB pressure was easily the weakest part of his profile. Like Kaepernick, Wilson’s development will be watched closely as they’ve helped turn the NFC West from laughingstock to perhaps the strongest division in football.

Pressure
Drop-backs
Comp%
Yds
Yds/Att
TD
INT
Sack%
Knockdown%
PFF Grade
QB Rating
ALL55463.96%36908.129117.2%14.4%49.3100.3
NP34271.65%29159.12480.0%0.0%38.4114.2
P21245.52%7755.85318.9%37.7%10.967.2
LT1550.00%776.41020.0%46.7%0.898.3
LG1858.33%494.11022.2%50.0%0.295.5
C1328.57%192.7017.7%30.8%-1.60.0
RG2743.75%1137.12014.8%25.9%4.8107.6
RT3550.00%1085.40017.1%25.7%3.466.3
TE760.00%234.60014.3%28.6%-0.371.3
RB850.00%20.50125.0%50.0%0.116.7
QB2122.22%40.40042.9%57.1%-3.539.6
MUL1550.00%567.00126.7%33.3%0.833.3
UNB5343.90%3247.91011.3%39.6%6.179.7

 

Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

Strength: C
Weakness: RT

Much like Matthew Stafford in the NFC North, Bradford has failed to live up to his first-overall pick status largely due to his inability to handle pressure. His -28.8 pressure grade is among the worst in the league and Bradford is particularly poor when facing heat from right tackle (-8.4). His only positive grade along the offensive line has come from center, as he’s posted a +1.9 with a QB Rating of 94.0. With the addition of free agent left tackle Jake Long, Rodger Saffold will move to the right side and if he continues his improvement heading into his fourth year, it will go a long way to shoring up one of Bradford’s major weaknesses.

Pressure
Drop-backs
Comp%
Yds
Yds/Att
TD
INT
Sack%
Knockdown%
PFF Grade
QB Rating
ALL164458.24%93876.345346.3%14.8%-0.377.3
NP108964.93%73966.934250.0%0.0%28.585.8
P55541.45%19914.711918.6%43.8%-28.855.9
LT8247.76%4246.30315.9%39.0%-0.249.6
LG5554.55%2435.52118.2%45.5%-2.576.2
C2447.06%1357.91020.8%37.5%1.994.0
RG5241.86%1784.10213.5%32.7%-3.434.8
RT7534.48%2013.51116.0%38.7%-8.443.8
TE1846.15%856.50016.7%33.3%-0.867.8
RB3136.00%1265.02012.9%45.2%1.179.8
QB1525.00%51.30066.7%86.7%-5.739.6
MUL8441.30%2124.61138.1%63.1%-2.853.9
UNB11936.36%3823.5415.9%37.8%-7.955.2

 

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  • Bill Doerr

    Sam Bradford grades out the worst QB in his division , that is no surprise to me , I compared Palmer VS Bradford since 2010 , and despite having less offensive weapons , and a far worse run game , Palmer’s QB stat’s are far better , so are Palmer’s first 3 starting season’s compared to Bradford. Arizona has a good defense just like STL but a better run game , better receivers , and a overall better offense. Id be willing to bet STL will be 4th in this division.

  • Commonsenseguy

    Palmer had less offensive weapons than Bradford. Are you freaking retarded?? Serious question.