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. 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 16 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.]
Tua vs. Fitzpatrick
One of the great debates around the NFL this week surrounds the Miami Dolphins quarterback situation and what they should do in their Week 17 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. In Week 16, starter Tua Tagovailoa got pulled during a pedestrian outing and Ryan Fitzpatrick sparked the Dolphins' offense to lead an improbable comeback win. Miami is in a difficult spot of managing Tagovailoa’s development with the chance to play a playoff game for just the third time since 2001.