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.
• Best down was first down: +3.4.
• Also showed well on 2nd-and-Medium (+2.6).
• Second-highest grade on passes in 21-to-30-yard range at +9.6.
• Graded at +4.1 on throws between the numbers.
• Among the league’s best when throwing to tight ends (+7.6).
• Showed well on comebacks (+2.8), corner routes (+3.2), and crossing routes (+2.6).
• Graded at -6.1 on second down and -4.3 on third down.
• Struggled on throws in the intermediate (11-to-20-yard) range (-9.2) and graded at -3.3 on passes traveling at least 30 yards in the air.
• Graded at -2.3 on throws outside the numbers to the left.
• Among the league’s worst when pressured (-16.2).
• One of the league’s lowest grades on out routes (-5.4).
• Graded at -2.4 on drop-backs lasting 2.6-to-3.0 seconds and -3.2 on drop-backs lasting at least 3.6 seconds.
• Struggled on 7-to-8-yard drop-backs (-5.4).
• Graded at -12.6 against the blitz including -7.7 on third-down blitzes.
• 30.8% of drop-backs came from under center; above the league average of 24.9%.
• Was blitzed 33.1% of the time; above the league average of 30.8%.
• 39.9% of drop-backs resulted in pressure from a traditional rush; third-highest in the league.
• 50.3% of blitzes led to pressure; fourth-highest in the league.
• Ranked fifth with 60.5% of drop-backs going to 7-8 yards and only dropped back 4-6 yards 10.3% of the time; eighth-lowest in the league.
• 6.3% of passes traveled at least 30 yards in the air; sixth-highest in the league.
• Threw 52.9% of passes in the 1-to-10-yard range; above the league average of 49.3%.
• Threw screens only 3.7% of the time; lowest in the league.
• Threw a higher percentage of passes outside the numbers to the left (24.9%) than he did to the right (20.9%).
• Only 7.6% of passes went to inline tight ends; sixth-lowest in the league.
• Threw a league-high 18.6% of his passes to running backs on non-screens.
For the entire set of “Quarterbacks in Focus” posts, click here.
Follow Steve on Twitter.