QBs in Focus: Against the Blitz
We had some fun last summer breaking down quarterback play from every angle, so we’ve decided to dig into the database again to review the 2014 season. One of the beauties of collecting data on every play of the season is the ability to then isolate each player’s strengths and weaknesses. This series will take a look at how quarterbacks performed in various situations, looking beyond just the overall grades that are posted on the site.
As always with PFF grades, it’s important to remember that we are isolating the quarterback’s role in the play from everyone else. We are evaluating the decision making and the throw, not necessarily the result. A great pass that gets dropped by a receiver receives the same credit it would have if the pass was caught, while an ill-advised pass into coverage that is dropped by a linebacker is downgraded as if it was intercepted. It’s important to remember this distinction when diving into the grades.
Here’s a look at how quarterbacks fared against the blitz in the 2014 season.
*Minimum 200 drop-backs to qualify
*All grades are normalized so that the NFL average is 0.0 for each category.
Which QB was Blitzed most often?
-After posting the worst PFF grade against the blitz in 2013, it’s no surprise that teams caught on and blitzed Mike Glennon more than any other QB in the league.
-Russell Wilson and Cam Newton once again find themselves among the most-blitzed QBs.
-Many of the league’s best QBs pull up the bottom of the list, including Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees.
Best/Worst vs Blitz
-Want to know why Peyton Manning took a step back in 2014? Look no further than his work against the blitz that saw him rank third-worst in the league. Historically, teams have been afraid to blitz Manning, but we may see more of it in 2015.
-No QB performed better than Andrew Luck against the blitz, including a league-high 18 touchdowns against only three interceptions.
-Philip Rivers was right there with Luck from a grading standpoint and his 119.2 passer rating ranked second in the league.
Best/Worst vs No Blitz
-No surprise to see many of the top-graded QBs at the top of this list, including Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees.
-Blake Bortles is at the bottom of both blitz lists, highlighting his rookie struggles.
-Both Eagles QBs, Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez, ranked in the bottom half of the league against a traditional rush.
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