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Jalen Hurts Can Run, but That’s Not Why He Is Good.

Washington Commanders v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Thanks to the nflFastR project and NFL NextGen Stats for the timely sources of data.

For those of you new to this, I will publish key QB stats each week judging how well the Colts passing game performed. Yes, O-Line, receivers, and play-calling impact these numbers but they are primarily QB measures. I will probably modify the charts throughout the season. Commentary will be brief but feel free to let me know in the comments that stats aren’t everything. (click charts for larger view)

NOTE: All references to rankings are of the top 32 QBs by dropbacks through the current week.

Jalen Hurts gets a lot of attention for his legs, but he is actually a better passer than he is a runner.

He is not a deep ball passer. He has the 3rd-lowest rate of attempts of 20+ yards and the depth of targets on his throws is just below league average (30th 20+, 17th adot). However, when he does throw deep, he has been very successful (6th 20+e)

He gets rid of the ball in a timely manner (17th ttt) and he has been highly accurate (7th cpoe), which is what lifts his game. He’s hitting on more than just check-downs, as he has the 8th-longest air yards per completion (ay/c) and his accuracy helps his receivers gain the 5th-most yac above expectation (yacoe) on those throws. This all feeds into the 2nd highest yards per attempt in the league.

Sure, he runs too. He has the 3rd highest scramble rate, but those runs only average 6.2 yards, which ranks 23rd and is more than 2 yards less than his average pass. In addition, behind a good O-line (5th PFF pass block grade, 11th Pass Block Win Rate), he takes higher than average sacks (12th sk%) and abandons passes at the 4th highest rate of any QB (aa%). That decreases his efficiency a bit (5th ny/d).

He rarely turns the ball over and he gets a lot of first downs and TDs (30th to%, 4th 1st%, 5th td%). That brings his overall epa efficiency to 4th best in the league (epa/d).


He’s been trending well above average in the most important stats. Specifically, he has been getting better at throwing for first downs, which is a key predictive stat.


His target depth varies from game to game, but his completion depth tends to remain above average.

He has great yards per attempt off of high avg completed air yards.


Dallas Goedert has been a big part of that offense, but now that he is on injured reserve, can A.J. Brown or Quez Watkins pick up the slack?


He has consistently good accuracy. His deep accuracy has been very good.


He has been trending quicker on his time to throw, which is right on par with his depth of target.


He has been very successful all over the field.