QB Pressure Profiles: NFC South

Steve Palazzolo returns to his series on performance in the face of pressure, marching quarterback by quarterback through the league.

| 3 years ago
QBpressprof-nfcsouth

QB Pressure Profiles: NFC South


We’re back at it again with a deep dive into the PFF Database as we continue to reveal a plethora of numbers regarding pressure and its effect on the quarterback. To recap, in the last few months we’ve looked at pressure’s impact on the passer from different angles and from that data, drew the conclusion that the left tackle might be overrated. From there, we broke it down by quarterback and revealed the league’s best and worst when pressure comes from different places. Now it’s time to take the next step and look at “pressure profiles” for every quarterback in the league.

As always, sample size caveats apply in some cases, but the numbers draw from our five years of data going back to 2008. There are certainly trends for some quarterbacks, while others are a bit more scattershot in their performance when pressure comes from different angles.

When looking at the numbers, keep in mind that PFF Grade is the best indicator of a player’s performance as we isolate the quarterback’s impact on every single play. If he throws a wide receiver screen that goes for an 80-yard touchdown, the numbers will look pretty, but the QB is credited with the same grade he would earn if it was stopped for no gain. Similarly, a perfectly thrown pass that should be a first down but is dropped and intercepted will likely earn a positive grade despite the ugly INT in the stats. All of the stats are nice to get some perspective but PFF Grade always trumps as more reliable.

With that said, let’s take a look at the quarterbacks from the NFC South and how they fare under pressure. To see the QBs covered previously, click here: AFC EastAFC NorthAFC South, AFC WestNFC East, NFC North.

 

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Strength: LG, RT
Weakness: LT

As I mentioned in one of the previous articles, the Falcons’ re-signing of left tackle Sam Baker may end up being one of the most important of the offseason (assuming he continues to play well) given Ryan’s difficulty when pressure comes off his edge. Ryan is one of the league’s worst when pressured from left tackle at -12.7 but he is well above average when it comes from right tackle (+8.5). Oddly enough, Ryan fares rather well with left guard pressure as he grades at +8.9. If the edge pressure numbers hold true, Ryan’s success could be directly tied to Baker while the loss of steady right tackle Tyson Clabo may be an easier workaround.

PressureDropbackComp%YdsYds/AttTDINTSack%Knockdown%PFF GradeQB Rating
ALL304362.96%201887.1136674.0%12.5%131.090.5
NP217767.91%161267.6109440.0%0.0%141.999.1
P86648.32%40625.7272314.1%43.9%-10.965.2
LT17051.09%8246.04614.1%34.7%-12.761.2
LG9153.75%5366.7617.7%45.1%8.994.6
C5556.52%3066.72312.7%40.0%0.564.2
RG8649.25%3144.73317.4%45.3%-2.458.9
RT10955.29%5736.71214.7%36.7%8.570.4
TE2027.78%432.40010.0%45.0%-1.939.6
RB3550.00%2738.0102.9%34.3%3.487.0
QB2033.33%455.00050.0%65.0%-4.950.7
MUL11437.18%3504.51329.8%57.0%-13.240.0
UNB16645.00%7985.0953.6%48.2%2.966.1

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Strength: LT
Weakness: RG, RT

When it comes to left tackle pressure, Newton is the opposite of Ryan as his +10.1 grade ranks fourth in the league despite facing about half the dropbacks as his closest competitors. He is yet another quarterback who fares better when the pressure comes from the “blind side” as opposed to the front side where he grades negatively when under heat from right guard and right tackle. Overall, Newton has done a fine job against pressure, grading at +4.3 overall, and it will need to continue as he looks to take the next step in his development as he heads into his third year in the league.

PressureDropbackComp%YdsYds/AttTDINTSack%Knockdown%PFF GradeQB Rating
ALL116058.88%79207.940296.1%13.0%17.785.3
NP74863.79%59838.330190.0%0.0%13.592.9
P41246.48%19376.8101017.2%36.7%4.366.3
LT5347.22%2627.30013.2%30.2%10.171.8
LG4659.38%35311.03413.0%26.1%3.489.2
C2622.22%522.90015.4%34.6%1.839.6
RG4838.46%1985.1026.3%31.3%-3.733.9
RT7346.15%3506.71015.1%30.1%-2.375.0
TE1257.14%557.90016.7%16.7%1.082.4
RB2346.67%1137.51121.7%47.8%0.066.8
QB130.00%00.00076.9%84.6%-5.139.6
MUL6250.00%2687.41227.4%54.8%1.260.9
UNB5651.06%2866.14110.7%33.9%-2.089.5

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Strength: LT
Weakness: RT

Brees’ profile looks similar to Newton’s as he performs much better against left tackle pressure (+11.2, 89.2 QB Rating) than right tackle pressure (-6.1, 69.0 QB Rating). Every short quarterback that enters the league is immediately compared to Brees, usually unfairly, with the major concern being the handling of pressure up the middle when it’s harder to find passing lanes. Brees has avoided disaster in this area as he ranks in the middle of the pack with a -5.2 grade against interior pressure. No quarterback has taken advantage of a clean pocket as much as Brees as his +211.9 grade is the league’s highest since 2008. 

PressureDropbackComp%YdsYds/AttTDINTSack%Knockdown%PFF GradeQB Rating
ALL354867.55%268467.9207853.3%9.2%196.1101.1
NP258472.46%217668.5177560.0%0.0%211.9111.7
P96452.46%50806.1302912.0%33.7%-15.968.7
LT19358.99%13817.8847.3%30.1%11.289.2
LG6049.02%3897.63013.3%41.7%1.394.3
C5550.00%2895.6113.6%34.5%-3.565.3
RG7852.78%3805.3245.1%21.8%-3.054.2
RT16353.90%8235.84412.3%27.6%-6.969.0
TE3643.75%1615.03211.1%27.8%-1.164.7
RB6461.82%4498.24110.9%26.6%7.1104.3
QB2126.67%161.10028.6%57.1%-4.539.6
MUL16542.37%4583.92726.7%55.2%-12.034.5
UNB12954.55%7346.1365.4%24.0%-4.460.4

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Strength: LG
Weakness: LT, RG

Tampa Bay fans are still wondering if Freeman is truly their long-term answer, but on the glass-half full side, go to our AFC North Pressure Profiles and check out Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Flacco. Freeman’s pressure numbers are eerily similar and perhaps a good sign that he’s at least capable of leading the Bucs to the playoffs and beyond. In glass-half empty news, only three quarterbacks have graded worse than Freeman’s -46.3 when pressured, so he likely has to show some improvement in that area to take the next step. Freeman’s only positive grade comes from left guard pressure while he’s particularly poor when under heat from left tackle and right guard.

PressureDropbackComp%YdsYds/AttTDINTSack%Knockdown%PFF GradeQB Rating
ALL208558.80%129756.978634.8%12.3%-10.479.8
NP133264.19%99497.756380.0%0.0%35.989.8
P75346.82%30265.2222513.4%34.1%-46.357.5
LT10248.81%3794.5229.8%28.4%-5.659.6
LG7651.61%3665.9226.6%27.6%1.567.0
C3140.74%1696.3013.2%22.6%-0.946.7
RG7150.88%3095.4128.5%32.4%-6.258.3
RT12645.56%4314.83614.3%29.4%-3.243.3
TE1336.36%595.4117.7%30.8%-0.647.2
RB4632.35%1364.02117.4%41.3%-4.153.1
QB1720.00%686.80041.2%58.8%-5.855.4
MUL11943.42%3294.31626.9%50.4%-15.927.8
UNB15252.31%7806.01048.6%30.9%-5.483.5

 

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| Senior Analyst

Steve is a senior analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has been featured on ESPN Insider, NBC Sports, and 120 Sports.

  • roble

    saints would destroy seahawks and marshawlynch is sucks MARFUMBLE

  • Hamza Jama

    go seahawks

  • saints fan

    saints are way better

  • lol

    Marshawn did pretty well against you in the playoffs didn’t he?