QBs in Focus: Andrew Luck

Steve Palazzolo shares Andrew Luck's numbers and points out some of the notable highs and lows.

| 3 years ago

QBs in Focus: Andrew Luck

qb-month-luckThough 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.

Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck (2)

Andrew Luck (3)

All categories with a * are normalized so that the league average is 0.0.


•  Among the league’s best on third down (+10.9) including a +6.8 grade on 3rd-and-10+
•  Second-highest grade on 2nd-and-medium (+9.5).
•  Fourth-highest grade on designed rollouts (+3.6).
•  Among the league’s best on passes thrown at least 30 yards in the air (+2.3) and passes thrown at least 40 yards in the air (+2.4).
•  Graded at +5.9 on passes thrown outside the numbers to the right.
•  Fifth-highest grade when pressured (+1.0).
•  Third-highest grade on drop-backs of 9 or more yards (+11.8).
•  Graded at +6.9 on drop-backs lasting 2.6 to 3.0 seconds and ranked third with a +10.8 grade on drop-backs lasting at least 3.6 seconds.
•  Graded at +8.9 when throwing to the slot (by alignment).
•  Ranked second with a +7.9 grade on ‘in’ routes.


•  Fifth-lowest grade on 2nd-and-long (-7.2).
•  Graded at -5.4 on passes thrown in the 11-to-20-yard range and -1.4 on passes thrown in the 21-to-30-yard range.
•  Graded at -4.4 on drop-backs lasting 2.1 to 2.5 seconds.
•  Graded at -0.3 on passes thrown outside the numbers to the left.
•  Struggled on 4-to-6-yard drop-backs (-7.1).
•  Graded at -0.9 on post routes and -0.3 on go routes.


•  Threw 59.4% of passes in between the numbers; above the league average of 53.3%.
•  Faced pressure on 37.5% of drop-backs; 15th-highest in the league.
•  Faced third down blitzes 41.9% of the time; ninth-highest in the league.
•  Threw to the slot (by alignment) 37.3% of the time; well above the league average of 29.2%.
•  Threw screens on 12.0% of drop-backs; tied for eighth highest in the league.
•  13.7% of attempts were crossing routes; seventh-highest in the league.


For the entire set of “Quarterbacks in Focus” posts, click here.


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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.

  • Shawn Blake

    Finally! A site that doesn’t push the narrative that Luck is elite. Currently, he is a slightly better than average QB.

    • Guest

      I know, right…because a former minor league pitcher has so much more credibility than HOF QBs, professional scouts, and analysts paid significant amounts of money to specifically scout QBs(MMQB and jaworski). After I read the article proclaiming Luck as a “good starter” I researched the hiring process and requirements and realized how stupid i was for constantly citing PFF. Interesting site, but all needs to be taken with a grain of salt

      • Demi

        The problem with those analysts is that they’re paid to entertain and keep people coming back for more. They do this by overhyping players like Tebow and Luck, and make it seem that there is more to them than what is actually seen.

        Their new toy is Manziel. They hype him and the quarterback competition up, despite the fact that he’s nowhere close to Hoyer if you have heard from those who been to the camp.

        Also, complaining about their background is dumb. NFL Media has an “analyst” that used to be a mailman.