Quarterbacks who got the most help in 2022: The players aided by pass protection, receiving corps, scheme and more

2MA83E6 Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates during an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders Monday, Oct. 10, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

• Eagles protecting Jalen Hurts: It’s not a shock to see that Jalen Hurts benefitted most from his offensive line — not only did the Philadelphia Eagles finish the 2022 season with PFF's top-ranked offensive line, but they also hold on to that top spot heading into the 2023 season.

• Dolphins receiving corps steps up: The Miami Dolphins were the only team in the NFL to have two wide receivers who produced 1,300 or more receiving yards, with Tyreek Hill (1,779) and Jaylen Waddle (1,400) each finishing top-10 in that category.

• Play-action Mahomes: Patrick Mahomes was the highest-graded quarterback in the NFL on play-action, earning a PFF passing grade of 93.0 with 13 touchdowns and just one interception in the 2022 regular season and playoffs.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes


While quarterback is obviously the most important position in football, every year we see coaches and general managers who put their signal-callers in a position to win by surrounding them with talent and implementing schemes that find mismatches and create favorable matchups.

Here are the teams that received the most help in the form of pass protection, receiving talent and schematic difference-makers like play-action, RPOs and screens.

It’s important to note that a quarterback benefiting from help is not itself a negative on that player. If anything, it further highlights how the pairing of an elite quarterback and offensive mind — Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid — can take over the NFL.

Pass Protection: Highest team pass-blocking grades in 2022

  1. Philadelphia Eagles: 84.9
  2. Baltimore Ravens: 80.2
  3. Green Bay Packers: 77.6
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 75.0
  5. San Francisco 49ers: 74.4

It’s not a shock to see that Jalen Hurts benefitted most from his offensive line — not only did the Philadelphia Eagles finish the 2022 season with PFF's top-ranked offensive line, but they also hold on to that top spot heading into the 2023 season. Right tackle Lane Johnson allowed just 11 total pressures on 651 pass-blocking snaps in the regular season and playoffs, and the offensive line as a whole gave up pressure on just 17.9% of passing plays, second among the league's 32 units.

The return of left tackle Ronnie Stanley and the addition of Morgan Moses at right tackle gave the Baltimore Ravens a boost up front, with the front five ranking second league-wide in team pass-blocking grade.

The San Francisco 49ers offensive line was able to support seventh-round rookie Brock Purdy in a big way, giving up pressure on just 18.6% of passing plays from Week 14 to the end of the regular season. The unit was led by Trent Williams, who gave up just 19 total pressures on 555 pass-blocking snaps all year.


Receiving Corps: Highest receiving grades in 2022

  1. San Francisco 49ers: 88.0
  2. Kansas City Chiefs: 83.1
  3. Miami Dolphins: 83.0
  4. Minnesota Vikings: 82.0
  5. Detroit Lions: 80.9

Four 49ers players saw 75 or more targets and earned PFF receiving grades of 79.5 or better: Christian McCaffrey, tight end George Kittle and wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.

The Miami Dolphins were the only team in the NFL to have two wide receivers who produced 1,300 or more receiving yards, with Tyreek Hill (1,779) and Jaylen Waddle (1,400) each finishing top-10 in that category.

Open receivers: Passing snaps with three or more open receivers in 2022 

1. Kansas City Chiefs: 233
2. Seattle Seahawks: 202
3. Cincinnati Bengals: 195
4. Denver Broncos: 189
5. Minnesota Vikings: 188
5. Cleveland Browns: 188

The AFC Championship Game regulars feature in the top three here, with the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals having three or more open receivers on 233 and 195 passing snaps, respectively.

The struggles at quarterback for the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns are even more concerning, considering the opportunities they were afforded here.


Screens: Expected points added (EPA) per play on screen passes in 2022

  1. Detroit Lions: 0.340
  2. Baltimore Ravens: 0.267
  3. San Francisco 49ers: 0.132
  4. Kansas City Chiefs: 0.124
  5. Minnesota Vikings: 0.120

The Lions and Ravens were successful on screen passes but ranked further down the table in terms of usage, with the Lions ranking 16th and the Ravens 29th in the total number of screen attempts in 2022.

The Chiefs might have the best quarterback in football, but they weren’t shy about using screens, ranking fourth in total screen passes and tied for first in touchdowns from screens.


Run-pass option (RPO): Expected points added (EPA) per play on RPO passes in 2022

  1. Dallas Cowboys: 0.442
  2. Philadelphia Eagles: 0.377
  3. Miami Dolphins: 0.356
  4. Tennessee Titans: 0.346
  5. Denver Broncos: 0.255

The Cowboys might have led the league in EPA per play on RPO passes, but even with the 12th-most RPO attempts, they still used them as third as often as the Eagles.

Philadelphia turned a league-leading 92 RPO pass attempts into seven touchdowns in the regular season and playoffs.

Play-action: Expected points added (EPA) per play on play-action passes in 2022

  1. Kansas City Chiefs: 0.437
  2. Detroit Lions: 0.292
  3. Buffalo Bills: 0.264
  4. Philadelphia Eagles: 0.259
  5. New England Patriots: 0.216

Patrick Mahomes was the highest-graded quarterback in the NFL on play-action, earning a PFF passing grade of 93.0 with 13 touchdowns and just one interception in the 2022 regular season and playoffs.

In Detroit, 16 of Jared Goff’s 29 touchdown passes came off play-action, the most in the NFL in the regular season.

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