QBs in Focus: Carson Palmer
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.
• Graded at +5.3 on third downs, including +4.6 on 3rd-and-long
• Threw well outside the numbers to the left (+5.5).
• Sixth-highest grade from a clean pocket (+22.7).
• Fared well when blitzed (+7.2).
• Showed well on 4-to-6-yard drop-backs (+3.4).
• Graded at +4.3 on passes in the 2.1-to-2.5-second range.
• Graded at +5.5 on passes to tight ends, including a +5.2 grade to inline tight ends.
• Among the league’s best on out routes (+6.6), and ranked fifth with a +8.2 grade on post routes.
• Graded at -2.1 on second downs.
• Struggled on passes thrown at least 20 yards in the air (-10.5), including a -7.0 grade in the 21-to-30-yard range and a -4.2 grade in the 31-40-yard range.
• League’s lowest grade when pressured (-19.8), including a -14.0 grade when pressured from a traditional rush.
• Overall, graded at -4.3 against a traditional rush.
• Graded at -1.7 on 7-to-8-yard drop-backs.
• Graded at -3.4 on passes in the 2.6-to-3.0-second range.
• Ranked last with a -8.7 grade on go routes.
• Led the league with 42.4% of drop-backs coming from under center.
• Threw 60.1% of passes in between the numbers; fifth-highest in the league.
• Faced pressure 40.3% of the time; eighth-highest in the league.
• Faced pressure that came in less than two seconds on 15.0% of drop-backs; highest in the league.
• Second-lowest percentage of drop-backs that lasted at least 3.6 seconds (8.1%).
• Led the league with 3.9% of drop-backs in the 1-to-3-yard range.
• Only used play action 15.4% of the time; ninth-lowest in the league.
• Only 0.6% of attempts were running back screens; lowest in the league.
• Threw the highest percentage of post routes (11.5%).
• Faced five or more defensive backs only 62.6% of his drop-backs; below the league average of 70.0%.
For the entire set of “Quarterbacks in Focus” posts, click here.
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