QBs in Focus: Intermediate Passing
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.
Following our previous look at short passing, here’s how quarterbacks fared in the intermediate passing game in 2014.
*Minimum 200 drop-backs to qualify
*All grades are normalized so that the NFL average is 0 for each category.
– No QB threw a lower percentage of intermediate passes than Robert Griffin III at 12.2%, though teammate Kirk Cousins was right around league average at 21.9%.
– Both Rams quarterbacks, Shaun Hill and Austin Davis, came in right behind Griffin.
– We saw Drew Stanton near the bottom of the list of short passing throwers as a percentage, but he led the league with 29% of his throws at the intermediate level.
– Despite the “early demise” concerns about Drew Brees, he still dominated the intermediate range in 2014.
– Alex Smith threw the sixth-fewest passes in the intermediate passes (18.7%), but showed well in that range.
– Eli Manning showed well in the 11-20 yard range in the Giants’ new offense.
– After his strong showing in relief in 2013, Josh McCown really struggled in the intermediate range last season.
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