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Philip Rivers Stat Tracker: Week 11

Green Bay Packers 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)

Another good week.


These charts always exclude any dropback where there is a fumble after a completion as that has nothing to do with QB skill, but it does include the results of tipped passes as those are the QBs “fault”. So the Mo Alie-Cox fumble is not here, but Philip Rivers’ interception is.

The impact of the pick on EPA was dramatic (-5.7 points), but even with that, River’s efficiency was still good.

Even in a year with elevated passing efficiency, Rivers has been doing well. For those who want to ignore the interception, imagine the last point on the upper left graph below at about the same level as last week. The other charts would stay basically the same.


Last week, he threw only short passes. This week he stretched the field a bit with 10 of 36 attempts > 10 air yards.

His average attempted length and completed length increased but were still below league average. As long as he is hovering near average, that is a good thing.

Patrick Mahomes leap-frogged him in completed yards per attempt, but they both have similar total yards per attempt, which is the critical measure here.

His striking distance on TDs has increased to almost average, but the air yards on those passes is still short.


As always, the love was spread around.

The wide receivers have been making a slow and steady march to the upper right quadrants and that makes me happy.


Accuracy was actually a bit below expected given throwing distance, but not too bad.


Unlike last week, where quick short throws was the game plan, the longer passes this week required more time in pocket.


Overall, passes between 0 - 20 yards were highly effective.


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.