Every week throughout the 2020 NFL season, we'll revisit the biggest storylines around the NFL's quarterback play and try to add proper context to PFF grading and traditional stats.
Before we start, here are a few disclaimers to aid in the understanding of the PFF system and its interaction with box score stats.
- There's no doubt that quarterback play is the biggest driver of passing production, and most people are conditioned to have a picture of how well a quarterback played based on the five basic box score stats — completions, attempts, yards, touchdowns and interceptions.
- The reality is that the best quarterbacks will rise to the top, or close to it, statistically over time, but in one-game samples or even full seasons, there are other forces at play that heavily influence those numbers.
- The PFF grade is here to isolate the quarterback's play away from his playmakers, playcaller, opposing defense and anything else that could influence his statistics. We give credit for good throws regardless of the result, and we do the same for bad throws. The PFF passing grade has proven to be one of the most stable passing metrics available, and we believe adding proper context to every play is crucial for long-term player evaluation.
Week 13 is in the books, so here's a look at some of the top stories from the latest slate of NFL games.
[Editor's Note: PFF's advanced statistics and player grades are powered by AWS machine learning capabilities.]
Rodgers with one of the top grades of the PFF era
The stat line is solid, but Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was even better than his 25-for-34 295-yard, three-touchdown line would indicate. Even Rodgers’ incompletions were impressive, including a 54-yard pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling that was dropped, a 22-yard over-the-shoulder pass to WR Davante Adams that was on his hands away from the defender and an 11-yard drop by WR Allen Lazard.
Just giving Rodgers credit for those three passes would put his line at 28-for-34 for 382 yards and four touchdowns to go with a passer rating of 152.7. It’s another example of perspective when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks, and Rodgers was on point at every level of the field against the Eagles. He just didn’t miss; he hit open throws and connected on six big-time throws. It all adds up to one of the cleanest games of the PFF era.