QBs in Focus: Short 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.
Here’s a look at how quarterbacks fared in the short passing game in 2014.
*Minimum 200 drop-backs to qualify
*All grades are normalized so that the NFL average is 0 for each category.
– Nobody threw a higher percentage of short passes than Tom Brady, though it may surprise some to see the likes of Colin Kaepernick, Joe Flacco, and Aaron Rodgers near the top as well.
– On the other end was Nick Foles who threw only 37.3% of his passes in the 1-10 yard range as the Eagles offense likes to push the ball downfield and complement it with screen passes behind the line of scrimmage.
– Both Arizona Cardinals quarterbacks, Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton, also pull up the bottom of the list.
– The league’s best QBs were dominant in the short range, including Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo, and Tom Brady.
– A big part of Robert Griffin III’s struggles came in the short game, despite throwing a high percentage of passes in that range.
– Surprising to see Peyton Manning struggle in this range as he ranked in the bottom half of the league.
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