QBs in Focus: Tendencies

Wrapping the league-wide look at QBs, Steve Palazzolo presents an exhaustive look at passer tendencies in various aspects.

| 3 years ago

QBs in Focus: Tendencies

Pass Distribution

Throwing to WR

Throwing to WR

•  These charts are based on players aligned out wide, regardless of their designated position (TEs and RBs included).

•  Ryan Tannehill had the highest percentage of passes going to players split wide at 81.9%.

•  Sam Bradford tied with Andrew Luck with a league-high 37.3% of passes going to the slot.

•  Jake Locker threw to outside wide receivers a league-high 56.0% of the time while Drew Brees ranked last at 31.4%.

Throwing to TE

Throwing to TE

•  Brees threw a league-high 28.1% of his passes to tight ends while Josh McCown and Terrelle Pryor tied for last at 14.5%

•  Case Keenum threw 20.2% of his passes to inline tight ends while teammate Matt Schaub ranked third at 16.1%.

•  Matt Ryan threw a league-low 3.1% of his passes to inline tight ends but he ranked fifth with 14.2% going to tight ends in the slot

Throwing to RB

Throwing to RB

•  Brees also threw to running backs more than any other quarterback (32.2%) including 24.0% of his passes to RBs lined up in the backfield and 6.9% of his passes to RBs in the slot.

•  Ryan Tannehill threw a league-low 11.7% of his passes to running backs.



Routes 1

Routes 2

•  A league-high 13.9% of Matthew Stafford’s passes were slants while Nick Foles ranked last at 3.1%.

•  Jay Cutler threw hitches a league-high 25.7% of the time while Tom Brady and Peyton Manning ranked last at 8.4% and 7.3%, respectively.

•  Jake Locker had the highest percentage of both out routes (16.6%) and comebacks (8.0%).

•  Carson Palmer and Robert Griffin III threw the highest percentage of post routes at 11.5% and 11.4%, respectively.

•  Mike Glennon threw a league-high 18.6% of his passes to running backs in non-screen situations.



•  Nick Foles threw screen passes on a league-high 17.5% of his drop-backs. Glennon ranked last at 3.7%.

•  Chad Henne threw the highest percentage of wide receiver screens at 11.3% with Ben Roethlisberger just behind him at 11.1%.



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


Follow Steve on Twitter.

| Senior Analyst

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

  • a57se

    Aren’t these tendencies more a function of the Offensive Scheme?

    • Steve Palazzolo

      Yes, it’s a function of both the QB’s style and offensive scheme. Mentions both in the intro.

  • Chris

    One of the best articles ever. I love the scheme stuff and route/location info.

  • Neer Shah

    Great work, Steve!! You’ve given us readers a gold mine of information.

  • Wyzel

    I would love to see how many of the rollouts ponder had that he was pressured or sacked, it was the most predictible thing every game, that no DE bit on the PA fake. Not sad to see a change at Qb and Musgrave gone.

  • letunisien

    watch world cup 2014 Bein Sports for free http://www.le-tunisien.net

  • LightsOut85

    One thing (from this) I noticed was not focused on in the other articles was inside/outside the numbers. I would love to see the numbers (grades, efficiency, etc) on throws outside the numbers from the pocket (perhaps broken down by distance?) – because those are considered some of the hardest throws.

    • Kevin

      Even break it down further based on what hash they’re on. Seems like making a throw across the field from the far hash is often considered one of the hardest throws as far as arm strength and being dangerous because of how far and long the ball travels across the field.

      There are definitely more technical throws that also require more timing like a back shoulder pass. I’d really be curious to see how QB’s stack up on back shoulder throws on what I believe to be the fade route a majority of the time(Not sure if its all the time.

      From what I remember from HS and watching the football my entire life, Fade route is the same as a go route with outside release. I also believe the back shoulder happens based on the CB’s coverage which I also believe would be man coverage with the CB basically on the WR’s hip with his back turned to the QB. When the WR knows this he should look back expecting the back shoulder throw.

      I really hope the guys at PFF get on here and correct me where I’m wrong or correct everything If I’m completely wrong. I’d love a further breakdown of the back shoulder throw.

      Just based on the timing needed for this pass, I guarantee many rookies or even 2-3 year QB’s are completing many of these passes compared to basically any other pass being made by a QB on Sundays. As a Packers fan, I’m lucky enough to see it every week and I thoroughly enjoy it every time. I mean I honestly don’t remember seeing it defended and only seen the Packers beat themselves with it. It’s usually a misread by the WR and usually happens to be someone not named Jordy Nelson. It was usually James Jones messing it up honestly.