FanPost

By the Numbers: Matthew Stafford (Pressure and the Blitz)

Recently, PFF has been doing a series called QBs in Focus. If you have a PFF subscription, I highly recommend this series. The one I will be highlighting is how QBs fared against different combinations of pressure and blitzing. Specifically, I'll take a look at how well Stafford did last year when facing pressure and blitzes or no pressure at all compared to the league average.

No Pressure

Yds/Attempt Yds/Comp. Comp.% Accuracy% TD% INT% QB Rtg. PFF Grade
Matthew Stafford 7.8 6.5 63.1% 76.0% 5.5% 2.6% 95.2 23.9
NFL Average 7.7 5.6 67.4% 75.9% 4.9% 2.3% 96.9 8.1

Interestingly enough, Stafford's QB rating was slightly below the league average when facing no pressure, but his PFF grade was almost triple the league average. His completion percentage was slightly lower than the league average, but his accuracy percentage was nearly the same. The accuracy percentage formula is pretty generous to QBs and takes out WR drops. He ranked 5th among all QBs in PFF grade against no pressure.

Pressure

Yds/Attempt Yds/Comp. Comp.% Accuracy% TD% INT% QB Rtg. PFF Grade
Matthew Stafford 5.9 5.4 45.5% 60.0% 1.8% 4.2% 52.9 -4.3
NFL Average 5.9 5.1 47.0% 61.5% 3.4% 3.9% 60.7 -6.2

Once again, PFF seems to hold Stafford to a higher standard than the original QB rating formula. Stafford was the #9 graded QB last year, but held the 22nd best QB rating. Nothing too significant going on here with his stats vs. pressure besides the low TD% compared to the league average. Obviously QBs just aren't as good with defenders in their faces.

Blitz

Yds/Attempt Yds/Comp. Comp.% Accuracy% TD% INT% QB Rtg. PFF Grade
Matthew Stafford 6.1 6.1 52.8% 63.8% 6.9% 3.8% 79.0 0.4
NFL Average 7.2 6.0 57.4% 68.7% 4.9% 2.5% 85.7 1.1

Stafford didn't do particularly well against the blitz last year. Both his QB rating and PFF grade were lower than the league average, and he was not completing his passes at a high percentage. He did have a higher TD% rate than normal though, and was ranked 9th in that category.

No Blitz

Yds/Attempt Yds/Comp. Comp.% Accuracy% TD% INT% QB Rtg. PFF Grade
Matthew Stafford 7.7 6.4 60.4% 74.9% 3.8% 2.7%

85.9

19.3
NFL Average 7.1 5.2 62.9% 73.3% 4.2% 2.9% 86.1 1.0

Stafford did well last year when teams chose not to blitz. He had the 2nd highest PFF grade in this category, which kind of surprises me judging how none of these stats really stand out above the league average. He also had the 5th highest yards per completion in this category.

No Blitz + No Pressure

Yds/Attempt Yds/Comp. Comp.% Accuracy% TD% INT% QB Rtg. PFF Grade
Matthew Stafford 8.1 6.8 63.5% 77.6% 4.7% 2.2% 95.2 17.4
NFL Average 7.5 5.4 68.1% 76.6% 4.6% 2.5% 95.3 4.2

One thing I've learned from this article so far, is that PFF absolutely adores Matthew Stafford. Aaron Rodgers had higher numbers in all but one of these metrics, and still only had a +10.9 PFF grade compared to Stafford's +17.4.

No Blitz + Pressure

Yds/Attempt Yds/Comp. Comp.% Accuracy% TD% INT% QB Rtg. PFF Grade
Matthew Stafford 6.6 4.8 50.9% 66.0% 0.9% 4.3% 57.0 1.9
NFL Average 5.9 4.8 48.6% 63.2% 3.2% 4.0% 60.9 -3.4

Stafford did okay when facing pressure that didn't involve blitzes. He completed passes at a higher rate than most QBs, but his QB rating was relatively low due to the amount of interceptions thrown when pressured. He also had tied for the 7th worst TD% in this category.

Blitz + No Pressure

Yds/Attempt Yds/Comp. Comp.% Accuracy% TD% INT% QB Rtg. PFF Grade
Matthew Stafford 7.0 5.7 61.8% 71.0% 8.2% 3.6% 95.0 6.5
NFL Average 8.0 6.1 65.4% 74.0% 5.6% 1.8% 101.0 4.0

Again, Stafford's numbers haven't looked too hot against the blitz over his career, and last year was no different. His TD% was tied for 8th best, but he was also 7th worst in INT%. I guess that doesn't come as a surprise, since we already know that Stafford takes a lot of risks.

Blitz + Pressure

Yds/Attempt Yds/Comp. Comp.% Accuracy% TD% INT% QB Rtg. PFF Grade
Matthew Stafford 4.1 7.4 32.7% 45.2% 4.1% 4.1% 43.2 -6.1
NFL Average 5.9 5.7 44.2% 58.6% 3.7% 3.7% 60.4 -3.1

Throw a bunch of players Stafford's way, and he is going to crumble. He joined the likes of players like Geno Smith and Eli Manning when facing both blitzes and pressure last year.

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Although Stafford was near the top in most categories (sorted by PFF grade), these metrics suggest otherwise. I remain a loyal Stafford fan, but it is clear to me that the new coaching staff will need to focus on performing better against pressure and blitzes. Last year our defense primarily rushed 4 guys, so maybe with our new look defense Stafford will get used to seeing different blitz packages and will be ready on Sundays this time around. Footwork will be a huge factor for him as well, and it's nice to hear that Caldwell is focusing on that this year.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.

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