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Philip Rivers Stat Tracker: Week 16

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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)



The interception was so deep down the field that the EPA impact was much smaller than the sack/fumble, but they were clearly the two worst plays of many on the day. Outside of his first completion and the TD bomb, there just isn’t much to write home about . . . unless home is craving bad news.

This wasn’t Rivers’ worst game of the year but it was very close. The numbers are horrible across the board: negative EPA efficiency, low success rate, minimal first down rate, below average yardage efficiency. Go below average in those 4 stats and you almost always lose the game — unless the opponents’ QB is also below average, which Big Ben was not.


Rivers stretched the field throughout the game and his yards per attempt numb is actually pretty good, but sacks and turnovers prevented that from being a net positive.

Over 10 yards aDOT was the longest of the year. On completions, depth was just average.

All I care about is Rivers putting up at least average TD depth. It’s close.


Targets were spread around well.

There just wasn’t enough average value on these targets to win the game.


While his completion rate dipped, the accuracy (cpoe) was about average given the depth of targets.


Even with a quick release time, he took the most sacks on the year. I wonder if missing 2 starting tackles had anything to do with it?


This is just ugly. What’s frustrating is that without the turnovers this might have been good enough to win.


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.