Though 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.
All categories with a * are normalized so that the league average is 0.0.
• Among the league’s best on passes in the 5-10 yard range (+6.5).
• Graded at +9.1 on 3rd-and-Medium.
• Threw best between the numbers (+3.8).
• Graded at +11.6 when throwing to outside wide receivers.
• Did his best work when throwing in <= 2.0 seconds (+2.6) and the 3.1-to-3.5-second range (+5.0).
• Best routes were slants (+6.9), ins (+5.4), and comebacks (+5.3).
• Graded at +2.7 on 4-to-6-yard drop-backs
• Graded at -11.5 on first down.
• Struggled at the 11-to-20-yard range (-10.9).
• Graded at -3.6 when throwing outside the numbers to the right.
• Graded at -13.9 when under pressure and -7.3 when blitzed.
• At his worst on drop-backs of at least 9 yards (-9.1).
• Struggled on drop-backs lasting 2.1 to 2.5 seconds (-8.6) and those lasting at least 3.6 seconds (-5.0).
• At his worst when throwing the out route (-7.3).
• Used play action only 15.8% of the time, well below the league average.
• Threw 46.5% of his passes to outside wide receivers, above the league average.
• Threw 7.0% of his passes beyond 30 yards in the air, third-highest in the league.
• Threw the third-highest percentages of comebacks at 5.0% of his attempts.
• Faced pressure in non-blitz situations 37.6% of the time, well above the league average.
For the entire set of “Quarterbacks in Focus” posts, click here.
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