clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Week 7 Opposing QB: An analysis of P.J. Walker, wait I mean Deshaun Watson, wait . . . (insert QB here)

NFL: London Games-Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

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 upcoming opponent QB has 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)

As of this writing I have no idea who the starting QB will be for the Browns this Sunday. Without knowing that, it makes it a little difficult to do a QB analysis. So, I am just going to blend Walker and Watson together into a QB Combo and show you what the Cleveland Browns passing game has looked like this year.


opd, edp, arsr, pr%, ttt, adot, ay/c, sck%, scr%, ta%, aa%, aay, cmp%, cpoe, yac, yacoe, ypa, ny/d, 1st%, td%, to%, epa/d, psr
  • The Browns’ QBs have faced tough passing defenses (6th opd).
  • The team has implemented a balanced attack supported by a fairly successful run game (15th edp, 13th arsr).
  • They have faced higher than average pressure, but they also take a loooong time to get rid of the ball (11th pr%, 5th ttt). This suggests that the Cleveland linemen are actually giving decent protection and that it is the passers who are inviting their own pressure. That inference is backed up by a 3rd best Pass Block Win Rate for the Browns O-Line.
  • Their long developing pass plays are rewarded with long pass attempts (4th adot). Unfortunately for the Browns, the completions on those attempts aren’t very long at all (22nd ay/c).
  • Short completions on long attempts implies poor accuracy and that is evidenced by a completion rate that is almost 4% below expectations (28th cpoe).
  • The receivers aren’t getting any YAC either, which is common with poor QB accuracy (28th yac, 28th yace).
  • Low cmp % with short completions and little YAC is how you get the 3rd worst yardage efficiency in the league (30th ypa).
  • The Browns QBs react to pressure by not throwing the ball away and taking a lot of sacks (30th ta%, 6th sck%), which is kind of the opposite of what you want.
  • They abandon pass plays a lot and earn very little yardage when they do (11th aa%, 20th aay). So, the overall dropback yardage efficiency is extremely bad, averaging only 4.7 yards per pass play (30th ny/d).
  • But poor yardage efficiency can be overcome as long as they get first downs, TDs and avoid turnovers. They don’t. They have the 3rd worst conversion rate, the 4th worst TD rate and the 3rd highest turnover rate. So, again kind of the opposite of what good passing teams do.
  • Simply put, the Browns are the worst passing team in the league (32nd EPA/d, 30th PSR).

Ok, maybe it’s the Jets . . . no, it’s the Browns.


Wow, that is a downward trend in average production.


Look how low completion depth rankings are related to attempt depth. This is a team who swings for the fences a lot . . . and misses a lot.


So, there’s Amari Cooper and then there are . . . others.


There has been a clear downward trend in accuracy as the Browns have slowly clawed their way to the bottom.


Holding the ball a long time is nothing new for this team. However, they do make long attempts so that partially explains it, but the chart on the right shows that for similar aDOT ranges, there are plenty of teams that throw a lot quicker.


That’s just universally bad.