QBs in Focus: Peyton Manning

Wrapping up the QBs in Focus series, Steve Palazzolo finds it tough to identify negatives in Peyton Manning's passing numbers.

| 3 years ago

QBs in Focus: Peyton Manning

qb-month-peytonThough 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.

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning (2)

Peyton Manning (3)

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


•  Led the league with a +18.1 grade on second down and ranked third with a +13.0 grade on third down.
•  Led the league with a +16.4 grade on passes thrown in the 1-to-10-yard range and +12.1 grade on passes thrown at least 20 yards in the air. Graded at +5.5 on passes traveling at least 30 yards in the air.
•  Led the league with +9.8 grade on passes lasting two seconds or less and +11.3 on passes lasting 3.1 to 3.5 seconds.
•  Showed well on passes outside the numbers to the left (+15.3), right (+13.7), and in between the numbers (+16.9).
•  Led the league with +39.2 grade in clean pocket and ranked fourth with +3.0 grade against pressure.
•  Graded at +21.1 with play action and +21.1 without play action.
•  Graded at +35.2 when throwing to outside wide receivers (by alignment).
•  Led the league with +17.6 on go routes and +13.0 on out routes.


•  Graded at -0.7 on passes that broke the pocket.
•  Graded at -0.5 on drop-backs lasting at least 3.6 seconds.


•  85.8% of drop-backs came out of the shotgun or pistol; fourth-highest in the league.
•  Ranked fifth with 11.2% of drop-backs coming out of the pistol.
•  96.3% of drop-backs started and remained in the pocket; second-highest in the league.
•  Faced pressure on only 22.7% of snaps; lowest in the league.
•  Faced the blitz on only 23.6% of snaps; lowest in the league.
•  55.2% of passes thrown in the 1-to-10-yard range; second-highest in the league.
•  Took 65.6% of drop-backs in the 7-8-yard range; second-highest in the league.
•  Only 7.7% of drop-backs went nine or more yards; second-lowest in the league.
•  36.5% of passes lasted two seconds or less; fourth-highest in the league.
•  Only 4.4% of drop-backs lasted at least 3.6 seconds; lowest in the league.
•  15.2% of attempts were go routes; fourth-highest in the league.
•  Faced base defenses (four defensive backs) on only 9.9% of snaps (league average 28.6%).


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.

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