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Philip Rivers Stat Tracker: Week 6

Cincinnati Bengals v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Thanks to the nflFastR project and NFL NextGen Stats for the timely sources of data. Commentary will be brief but feel free to let me know in the comments that stats aren’t everything. (click charts for larger view)

Well, that was better.


NOTE: QB spikes, kneels and completed passes that end with fumble turnovers are not included in the next two charts. So, Jack Doyle’s fumble isn’t counted against Philip Rivers’ numbers.

Rivers was highly efficient both in value per dropback and % of successful passes.

QBs that are better than average in these stats win 80% of their games. He was better than average.

On the season Rivers ranks in the top 10 in all of the above stats (10th EPA/db, 10th PSR, 10th first down/db, 1st NY/db). For people that think Jacoby Brissett would be an upgrade . . . really? I mean . . . really?


Everything looks good here. Well . . . not the interception.

His length of passes, both attempted and completed, is trending longer.

For everyone complaining about Rivers passing depth, his completed air yards per attempt is 12th longest of any QB.

He finally threw TDs with some distance on them as he edges close to league average. Had Marcus Johnson’s 55 yard catch been a 56 yarder, that would have boosted the numbers here.


Johnson was employee of the week.

The upper right quadrant of these next graphs — where you want WRs to live — has been sparse. This week was better.


Rivers’ accuracy has been about average the last 3 weeks, but for passes thrown over 10 yards, he ranks 5th most accurate (+10.9% cpoe) of any QB this year.

He also has the 10th most attempts > 10 air yards and the 9th most % of attempts > 10 air yards. So, those claiming he can’t/won’t/doesn’t throw anything but check-downs . . . maybe shut up?


I think I can pretty much write the same description here every week: he gets rid of the ball quickly and doesn’t take sacks.


He didn’t test the middle of the field past 10 yards, but 30% his attempts were to the right or left of that.


Dropbacks (db): Attempted passes, Sacks or QB scrambles with QB spikes removed.

EPA per Dropback (EPA/db): For any given down, distance and field position, there is an average amount of points the team is expected to generate from that spot (EP). After the play the added EP (EPA) is calculated. EPA/db is the average of EPA for all QB dropbacks.

Passing Success Rate (PSR): This is the % of passes that were successful. Success is determined by dropbacks that have an EPA > 0. This is useful, as it evenly weights all dropbacks, so that extreme EPA events can’t bias the measure.

First Downs per Dropack (1st %): The percent of dropbacks that result in a first down.

Net Yards per Attempt (NY/A): Passing yards plus scramble yards minus sack yards divided by dropbacks.

Air Yards (ayd): The distance a pass travels through the air past the line of scrimmage. Passes behind the line of scrimmage have negative air yards. Batted down passes have 0 air yards.

Average Depth of Target (aDOT): Total air yards divided by attempts. It is a measure of how far, on average, a QB throws. Longer isn’t necessarily better but below a certain threshold and moving the ball is difficult.

Yards Before the Catch (YBC): The air yards on a completed pass.

Completed Air Yards per Attempt: This is average YBC. It’s like aDOT but excludes incompletions.

Yards After the Catch (YAC): The distance gained by a receiver after catching a pass.

Completion Percent Over Expected (cpoe): The percent of passes completed above expectation based on air yards, field placement and other variables. This is a proprietary stat provided by nflFastR.

Time to Throw (TtT): The number of seconds from snap to release on passing attempts.