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)
Deshaun Watson had a rough start to the year but since Bill O’Brien was fired, he has been one of the best QBs in the league.
Since week 5, Watson ranks 2nd in EPA per dropback, 1st in Passing Success Rate, 2nd in 1st down conversion rate and 1st in Net Yards per dropback. That’s actually slightly better than Mahomes’ numbers (1st, 2nd, 4th, 2nd)
His depth of target has varied by week, showing he can be productive at any depth, but on the season, he passes farther than most QBs.
His air yard yardage efficiency is 2nd only to Kirk Cousins.
His stretched depth of target translates to TDs as well, making him one of the most dangerous passers in the league. He hits the end zone from far away.
He has lost Will Fuller for the season and their run game is terrible, so will that let opponents put a lid on his production?
He is one of the most accurate passers in the league (6th cpoe). He is completing 75% of his passes between 21-25 yards. Ridiculous.
His long passes require a long time in the pocket contributing to his greater than average sack rate.
He is deadly all over the field.
Dropbacks: 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.
Yards After 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.