The best quarterbacks by accuracy category: Aaron Rodgers, Dak Prescott and more

2K8N61X Landover, MD, USA. 23rd Oct, 2022. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a pass in pregame warmups before the game against the Washington Commanders in Landover, MD. Photographer: Cory Royster. Credit: csm/Alamy Live News

PFF's 2023 QB Annual provides in-depth look at quarterback play: Click here to download the Annual, which highlights 40 quarterbacks set to have a role this season.

• Aaron Rodgers still has juice left in the tank: The new Jets quarterback ranked first in accurate-plus throw rate in 2022 despite playing with an inexperienced receiver corps.

• Dak Prescott's interception total and accuracy rate paint different pictures: The Cowboys' signal-caller recorded the lowest catchable but inaccurate throw rate yet tossed 15 picks in 12 games.

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes


Not all passes are created equal.

If we look only at completion percentage as a metric for accuracy, a pass thrown on the dot with pinpoint accuracy counts just as much as an errant ball that a receiver miraculously drags in.

PFF's quarterback accuracy charting goes beyond completion percentage by recording the location of every pass thrown by a quarterback. This allows us to see how accurate a quarterback is on different types of throws, against different coverages and with different levels of separation from the receiver.

Every NFL season, we chart every throw into one of the following buckets:

Accurate-plus: When a passer puts the ball in the exact location to optimize yards after the catch or puts the ball away from tight coverage. Accurate-plus passes have been completed 87.4% of the time since 2020.

Accurate: When a passer puts the ball on the receiver's frame so that he doesn't need to adjust or slow down to make the play and continue after the catch. Accurate passes have been completed 93.3% of the time since 2020.

Catchable but inaccurate: A catchable pass where the receiver has to make a notable adjustment to reel it in, either by slowing his route or extending himself in any direction. This can include a quarterback throwing the ball too high or low or slightly behind or in front of the receiver. Catchable but inaccurate passes have been completed 78.7% of the time since 2020.

Uncatchable and inaccurate: Even despite a Herculean effort from the receiver, there is almost no shot of the pass being completed. This includes overthrows and underthrows, as well as passes thrown too far in front or behind. Uncatchable and inaccurate passes have been completed 2.0% of the time since 2020.

Here are the top five quarterbacks in each accuracy type. To appear on these rankings, a quarterback must have attempted at least 200 passes during the 2022 regular season, with 33 signal-callers qualifying.

Editor's note: All of this information and more can be found in PFF's 2023 QB Annual, available to PFF+ subscribers. Not a member? Sign up for a free trial today!

Accurate plus

1. Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets: 19.3%
2. Jacoby Brissett, Cleveland Browns: 18.4%
3. Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts: 17.5%
4. Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints: 17.4%
4. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams: 17.4%

Despite it being considered a “down” year for Aaron Rodgers, the future Hall of Famer still showed he has plenty left in the tank in 2022. Rodgers led the league in accuracy-plus rate by almost an entire percentage point over second-place Jacoby Brissett on almost 200 more pass attempts despite playing with an inexperienced group of pass catchers.

Accurate

1. Andy Dalton, Carolina Panthers: 66.7%
2. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals: 65.6%
3. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys: 65.5%
4. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 65.0%
5.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants: 64.6%

Last season's version of Andy Dalton may have been one of the most underappreciated quarterbacks in recent memory. Not only was he one of the most accurate passers in the game, but his 81.0 passing grade ranked sixth at the position, edging out the likes of Kirk Cousins, Tom Brady, Justin Herbert and Aaron Rodgers.

Dalton is set to back up first-overall pick Bryce Young in Carolina this season. But should anything go wrong, the Panthers have a reliable safety blanket.

A product of PFF's advanced grading system, ball location charting, situational grading and other wide-ranging advanced statistics, the 2023 QB Annual is now available to all PFF+ subscribers. Download the 2023 QB Annual here.

Catchable but Inaccurate

1. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys: 15.3%
2. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals: 17.1%
3. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 17.2%
4. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans: 17.6%
5. Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints: 17.9%

Prescott recently caught heat for vowing to throw fewer than 10 interceptions in 2023. In the 2022 regular season, he tied for the league lead with 15 interceptions despite playing 12 games. With the exception of Matt Ryan, every quarterback to throw at least 10 interceptions played at least 15 games.

Those 15 interceptions are a bit deceiving, though. Two of them were positively graded throws, including the walk-off pick-six against the Jaguars. Another three were zero-graded. It seems like wishful thinking that Prescott will stay under 10 interceptions in a 17-game season (he was one of 14 quarterbacks to throw at least 10 picks in 2022), but given that he was the second-most accurate passer in standard accuracy and the top quarterback in avoiding catchable but inaccurate throws, expect that interception total to at least come down in 2023.

Uncatchable and Inaccurate

  1. Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts: 14.2%
  2. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals: 14.9%
  3. Daniel Jones, New York Giants: 15.2%
  4. Andy Dalton, Carolina Panthers: 15.3%
  5. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles: 16.8%

Matt Ryan’s accuracy stats were all over the place in 2022. He ranked third best in accurate-plus throws and topped the list at avoiding completely uncatchable passes, yet he placed second worst in inaccurate but catchable balls, at 25.6%, and his standard accuracy of 60.2% was right around average (16th out of 33 qualifying passers).

At 38 years old, Ryan is currently a free agent but will be joining CBS as an analyst for the upcoming 2023 season. He could be a potential midseason option for a team in desperate need of a quarterback.

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