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Week 4 Opposing QB: An analysis of Matthew Stafford

Los Angeles Rams v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Cooper Neill/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)

Colts face Matthew Stafford in week 4, so let’s open up the hood and see what we got.


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
  • Through 3 weeks, Stafford has faced average defenses with a pass-first offense assisted with a great run game (15th opd, 5th edp, 5th arsr).
  • He’s faced slightly higher than average pressure even though he gets rid of the ball fairly quickly (15th pr%, 21st ttt).
  • Despite the quick throws, he is making long attempts, which is out of the ordinary, in a good way . . . well, good for the Rams (8th adot).
  • Long throws don’t always translate to long completions, but Stafford’s passes do even though his accuracy has been pretty poor (4th ay/c, 28th cpoe). So, basically, he is connecting on long passes but missing on the shorter ones, which is . . . odd.
  • His receviers are giving higher than expected YAC and so that is giving him very good yardage efficiency on his attemtps (10th ypa)
  • He also doesn’t abandon pass attempts often and when he does they are primarily neutral-yardage throw-aways, so his overall yardage efficiency stays high (16th aa%, 8th ta%, 10th ny/d).
  • He throws a lot of first downs, but not TDs and he’s not that careful with the ball (6th 1st%, 31st td%, 9th to%), which brings down his efficiency from an EPA perspective (16th epa/d, 11th psr).

That all culminates in a solid “meh” rating . . . okay “Meh+”.


Stafford missed 8 games last year, so it’s tough to identify trends. However, his recent games have been below the trailing average.


Passing depth has included a lot of deep shots in 4 of the last 5 games.


Puka Nucua is not just a fun name to say.


Stafford’s overall accuracy has not been good. On pass attempts <= 5 yards, his completion rate is 11% below league average and on passes over 20 yards, his completion rate is 8% higher than average. That’s bonkers.

I guess the plan should be to not let him go deep and force checkdowns.


He throws quickly, even when adjusted for passing depth.


This just reiterates that he does well deep and not so well short . . . like an anti-QB.