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.
• Led the league with a +10.3 grade on 2nd-and-medium.
• Second-highest grade on passes in the 1-to-10-yard range at +12.3.
• Among the league’s best in the 11-to-20-yard range (+7.6).
• Graded at +11.8 on throws outside the numbers to the left and +15.8 on throws in between the numbers.
• Ranked third with a +28.9 grade in a clean pocket.
• Graded at +6.4 against the blitz.
• Led the league with a +11.1 grade on 4-to-6-yard drop-backs.
• Tied for the league lead with a +11.0 grade in the fourth quarter and OT.
• Led the league with a +19.3 grade on drop-backs lasting 2.1 to 2.5 seconds.
• Graded at +11.9 on passes thrown to outside wide receivers (by alignment) and +9.5 on passes thrown to the slot (by alignment).
• Led the league with a +10.3 grade on slants while ranking second on post routes at +10.4.
• Graded at -4.2 on 3rd-and-10+
• Struggled on throws in the 21-to-30-yard range (-6.4) and finished at -3.6 on all throws of 20+ yards.
• Graded at -4.3 on passes thrown outside the numbers to the right.
• Graded at -2.4 against third down blitzes.
• Struggled on drop-backs lasting 2.6 to 3.0 seconds (-3.9) and ones lasting 3.1 to 3.5 seconds (-4.6).
• Graded at -3.3 on crossing routes and -1.6 on in routes.
• Took 34.6% of drop-backs from under center; ninth-highest in the league.
• Left the pocket or used a designed rollout only 1.4% of the time; lowest percentage in the league.
• 54.2% of passes came in the 1-to-10-yard range; third-highest in the league.
• Faced pressure 32.6% of the time; below the league average of 35.5%.
• Used a 7-to-8-yard drop-back 64.4% of the time; third-highest in the league.
• Used a drop-back of at least 9 yards only 12.2% of the time; fifth-lowest in the league.
• Only 15.1% of attempts went to tight ends; third-lowest in the league.
• Threw 34.8% of passes to the slot (by alignment); sixth-highest in the league.
• 32.6% of drop-backs last two seconds or less; seventh-highest in the league.
• Blitzes turned into pressure only 36.0% of the time; fifth-lowest in the league.
• Threw out routes on 14.7% of attempts; third-highest in the league. Threw post routes 9.7% of the time, also third.
For the entire set of “Quarterbacks in Focus” posts, click here.
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