QBs in Focus: Bradford & Clemens

| July 18, 2014

qb-month-bradford-clemensThough we certainly miss football during the offseason, it’s always a good time to take a step back and analyze our plethora of data.

We’re often so busy grading and collecting data during the season that we’re unable to put a lot of the information to good use. With that said, we’ve decided to declare June as “QB Month” as we break down NFL quarterbacks every which way.

We’re going to examine quarterbacks from a number of situations before looking at each of them individually. The grades and numbers should reveal each quarterback’s strengths and weaknesses from the 2013 season.

As we go through this series, it’s important to understand the relationship between QB Rating (NFL’s version) and PFF Grade.

While QB Rating is obviously supposed to be a QB statistic, it’s actually a better gauge of what the entire offense did in a given situation. This is the type of information that is actually extremely valuable to our NFL team customers as their game planning efforts must go towards stopping an entire passing offense, not just the quarterback.

If the quarterback throws an easy dump off pass to the RB who then weaves through the defense for the touchdown, it’s certainly not a great indicator of quarterbacking skill as it is the running back and defense accounting for the majority of the work on the play. Of course the QB Rating will look quite shiny in that situation.

On the other hand, PFF Grade is a good indicator of how well the quarterback actually performed in a given situation. Whether they throw an accurate pass that was dropped, or perhaps an inaccurate one that should have been intercepted and the defense dropped, the PFF grade will account for those situations with a positive and a negative grade respectively while QB Rating will simply reflect the 0-for-1 passing.

It’s important to distinguish between QB Rating and PFF grade, though there’s a good chance they’ll match up in most situations.

After taking a look at the entire league in various situations, it’s time to break down each quarterback individually.

 

Sam Bradford

Sam Bradford

Sam Bradford (2)

Sam Bradford (3)

All categories with a * are normalized so that the league average is 0.0.

Positives

•  One of the league’s best on first down (+5.1).
•  Graded at +3.1 on passes in the 1-10-yard range.
•  Posted a +7.8 grade in a clean pocket.
•  Graded at +4.5 against the blitz
•  Showed well on 7-to-8-yard drop-backs (+2.6).
•  Posted positive grades on all passes between 2.1 and 3.5 seconds.
•  One of the league’s best on hitch routes (+4.7).
•  Graded at +4.0  when using play action.

Negatives

•  Struggled on second down at -6.2.
•  Graded at -8.2 when pressured.
•  Graded at -4.9 against a traditional rush including -8.0 when pressured from a traditional rush.
•  Struggled on 4-to-6-yard drop-backs (-1.5) and drop-backs of 9 or more yards (-2.0).
•  Graded at -2.8 on passes lasting at least 3.6 seconds.
•  Graded at -4.5 when not using play action.
•  Posted negative grades on out routes (-0.5) and in routes (-0.6).

Tendencies

•  Only 9.1% of passes traveled at least 20 yards in the air; fourth-lowest in the league.
•  Threw 24.9% of passes outside the numbers to the right compared to only 14.9% going outside the numbers to the left, the largest difference from right to left in the league.
•  Threw 37.3% of passes to the slot (by alignment); above the league average of 29.2%.
•  Threw a high percentage of crossing routes (14.5%) and hitches (21.2%).

 

Kellen Clemens

Kellen Clemens

Kellen Clemens (2)

Kellen Clemens (3)

All categories with a * are normalized so that the league average is 0.0.

Positives

•  Graded at +6.2 on third down
•  Showed well on passes thrown at least 20 yards downfield (+4.0).
•  Graded at +4.7 on passes in between the numbers.
•  Graded at +6.2 when throwing to tight ends.
•  Showed well on crossing routes (+2.0) and hitches (+3.6).

Negatives

•  Graded at -6.3 on first down.
•  Struggled on throws in 11-to-20-yard range (-6.0).
•  Graded at -5.0 on passes outside the numbers to the left.
•  Graded at -6.0 when pressured.
•  Struggled on drop-backs of 9 yards or more (-3.0).
•  Graded at -2.1 on passes lasting at least 3.6 seconds.
•  Graded at -1.4 on slant routes.

Tendencies

•  39.7% of drop-backs came from under center; third-highest in the league.
•  Threw the second-highest percentage of passes in the 11-to-20-yard range (27.3%).
•  Threw 60.8% of passes in between the numbers; third-highest in the league.
•  27.3% of passes targeted tight ends; third-highest in the league.
•  Ranked right with Bradford throwing a high percentage of crossing routes (14.1%) and hitches (18.5%).
•  Only 1.8% of attempts were wide receiver screens; fifth-lowest in the league.

 

For the entire set of “Quarterbacks in Focus” posts, click here.

 

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  • ramsfan

    altho bradford’s 1st down numbers look good, they were bolstered considerably by the rams trailing by two scores or more entering the 3rd and 4th quarter in 5 of the 7 games he played – the pass coverage bradford faced after the second half reflected these large deficits. looking at bardford’s fist half 1st down pass stats, he booked an 86.5 qb rating, good for 22nd ranking, and typical of his four year first half numbers.