NFL News & Analysis

Ranking all 32 starting NFL quarterbacks by pressured passing grade through Week 7

Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) throws the football during the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

• Steelers' Kenny Pickett ranks No. 1: The rookie has acclimated surprisingly quickly to NFL pressure, reducing mistakes while taking what the defense gives him.

• Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes crack top five: The star signal-callers are excelling under pressure — unsurprisingly — as they continue to establish themselves as the league's best.

• Jets' Zach Wilson at No. 32: He's completed just five of his 31 passing attempts under pressure through seven weeks.

Estimated Reading Time: 8 mins

Here's how every starting NFL quarterback has fared versus pressure during the first seven weeks of the 2022 season.


1. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers

72.5 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Pickett’s 81.8% adjusted completion percentage on 26 pressured pass attempts ranks first among all passers. He's also made only one turnover-worthy play on such throws, forming a turnover-worthy play rate that trails only Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert among starters.

2. Andy Dalton, New Orleans Saints

67.6 Passing Grade Under Pressure

In relief of Jameis Winston, Dalton has thrown for just under 190 yards on 33 pressured pass attempts. His 6.1% big-time throw percentage on such plays is a top-10 mark, as his 13.0-yard average depth of target. 

3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

67.6 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Eight big-time throws against three turnover-worthy plays is the kind of efficiency Rodgers has showcased against pressure. His 13.1-yard average depth of target ranks fifth, and he holds the second-highest big-time throw percentage against the rush (13.6%) through seven weeks.

4. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

66.4 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Allen’s 514 passing yards on pressured dropbacks trails only two starting quarterbacks for the league lead, and he holds the best passer rating against the rush (99.8). The Bills’ quarterback is the only signal-caller in the league to have thrown more than two touchdowns without an interception against pressure.

5. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

62.6 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Mahomes ranks second in passing yards under pressure (555) and is in a two-way tie for second with six big-time throws under duress. While he has thrown four interceptions in pressured situations, his eight touchdown tosses doubles that of the next closest player.

6. P.J. Walker, Carolina Panthers

58.8 Passing Grade Under Pressure

The sample size here is too small to evaluate Walker under duress. Through two starts, Walker has faced only 10 pressured dropbacks. And he's completed only one of five passes on such plays, although one of those five attempts was a big-time throw.

7. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

58.6 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Herbert has thrown the most passes (102), registered the most completions (56) and tossed the sixth-most first downs (24) when under pressure this season. His 563 passing yards is also the top mark in the NFL, and he still maintains a higher big-time throw percentage (1.8%) than turnover-worthy play percentage (1.6%) on a league-high 117 pressured dropbacks.

8. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders

58.3 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Carr's 69.0% adjusted completion percentage under pressure is a top-10 mark. While he hasn’t tossed a single touchdown or interception when under fire, he’s top-10 in yards per attempt (7.0) and has thrown for 415 passing yards. 

9. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

58.2 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Hurts has a bottom-10 average time to throw against pressure (3.69) and has completed 18 of his 46 such passes. His big-time throws trump his turnover-worthy plays, two to one.

10. Davis Mills, Houston Texans

57.3 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Mills sports a 67.2% adjusted completion percentage, but his best work comes from limiting mistakes. Across 77 pressured dropbacks, he's made only two turnover-worthy plays, forming a rate that trails only Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts.

11. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

57.1 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Cousins’ 395 pressured passing yards just eclipses the top 10, but he’s tied for fourth in big-time throws (4). Captain Kirk has converted only 14.1% of his pressured dropbacks into sacks — a top-10 mark.

12. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

54.2 Passing Grade Under Pressure

The GOAT hasn’t delivered a single touchdown pass on 46 pressured pass attempts. He’s only thrown for 205 yards passing under duress and is averaging a woeful 3.8 yards per attempt on such plays.

13. Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

53.4 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Smith’s career resurgence is fueled by stellar numbers against pressure. He's racked up more passing yards under duress than Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson (417) — among many others — while also producing the fourth-best passer rating in pressured situations (88.1) on 57 pass attempts.

14. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

53.1 Passing Grade Under Pressure

On pressured dropbacks, Goff has thrown 23 first downs — the seventh-most among signal-callers. He’s thrown for 396 yards and is averaging over 6.5 yards per attempt on 59 pass attempts.

15. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans

51.7 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Tannehill's yardage (391), completions (31) and touchdowns (3) against pressure showcase his productive nature against defensive fire. He holds the fifth-highest adjusted completion percentage of all starting quarterbacks through the first seven weeks (85.6).     

16. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

50.7 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Stafford is tied for fourth in big-time throws under pressure (4) but also has a bottom-half turnover-worthy play rate (6.0%). Still, his 73.6% adjusted completion rate on pressured throws ranks fourth.

17. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

46.6 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Tagovailoa's 6.7 yards per attempt and 67.9% adjusted completion percentage on pressured dropbacks both rank in the top half of the 32 starting signal-callers. The downside is that his 10.4% turnover-worthy play rate is the third-worst mark.

18. Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons

46.2 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Mariota’s four turnover-worthy plays on pressured plays have sunk his passing grade, and his 27.9% pressure-to-sack rate is the second-worst mark among starting signal-callers.

19. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

46.1 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Prescott’s 6.4 yards per attempt and 12.5-yard average depth of target headline the positives of his throwing abilities under pressure. The opposite is true for a 9.5% turnover-worthy play percentage and a 47.9 passer rating from 15 pass attempts, but this is a very small sample size to glean anything from due to his missed time.

20. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

45.7 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Jackson has produced mixed results when under fire as a passer. His big-time throw percentage is at 6.8% through Week 7, but he also holds a 4.7% turnover-worthy percentage and has tossed two picks under pressure. Jackson possesses one of the highest average depths of target under duress (14.3) this season.

21. Daniel Jones, New York Giants

44.0 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Jones has one of the highest adjusted completion percentages under pressure of all starting quarterbacks (77.2%). His 82.2 passer rating under duress is a top-10 mark, and he’s thrown for more than 400 yards on the second-most pressured dropbacks (110).

22. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos

42.3 Passing Grade Under Pressure

With just a 62.5% adjusted completion percentage on pressured throws, Wilson has struggled on his 72 such dropbacks. He’s helped convert pressure to a sack on 27.8% of those plays (third-worst) and has more turnover-worthy plays (3) than big-time throws (2).

23. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

41.5 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Burrow has made five turnover-worthy plays on pressured dropbacks, compared to two big-time throws. On the bright side, he does hold one of the best passer ratings (88.7) on such plays due to four touchdowns and just one interception.

24. Jacoby Brissett, Cleveland Browns

41.3 Passing Grade Under Pressure

While Brissett ranks in the top 15 in passing yards under duress (352), he is tied with Trevor Lawrence for the third-most turnover-worthy plays (7) through seven weeks. The seven-year journeyman trails only Zach Wilson and Mac Jones for the worst passer rating in football against pressure (27.1).

25. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

35.2 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Jimmy G’s 6.2% turnover-worthy play percentage under pressure ranks in the bottom half among starters. He’s getting the ball out quickly (2.89 seconds on average) when under duress, but it isn't resulting in more success.

26. Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts

32.7 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Ryan, no longer the starter in Indianapolis, has taken 110 pressured dropbacks this season and thus has racked up 452 passing yards on such plays. However, that's all offset by a league-worst 10 turnover-worthy plays. Through 82 pass attempts, Ryan has mustered only one big-time throw.

*Note: The Colts named their Week 7 starter as Sam Ehlinger, who has not taken a snap this season. 

27. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

32.5 Passing Grade Under Pressure

It’s been a rough go for Fields, as his nine turnover-worthy plays on pressured dropbacks severely outweigh his two big-time throws. He has a sub-65.0 passer rating on such plays, and he possesses a lowly 53.8% adjusted completion percentage against the rush this season.

28. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

27.4 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Two big-time throws to seven turnover-worthy plays magnifies Lawrence's struggles versus pressure this season. He is doing well to get the ball out — in 3.18 seconds on average, a top-15 mark — but his 52.7% adjusted completion rate is a poor figure.

29. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

26.7 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Murray has been neutralized through the air against heavy duress. His turnover-worthy play percentage (6.5%) severely outweighs his big-time throw rate (0%), and he's been only able to muster 3.2 yards per attempt across 62 tries.

30. Taylor Heinicke, Washington Commanders

24.2 Passing Grade under Pressure

Heinicke made four turnover-worthy plays and only one big-time throw under pressure in his first start of the season. This is an admittedly small sample to judge any quarterback off of, but he finished his performance against the Packers with just a 50.0% adjusted completion percentage under duress.

31. Mac Jones, New England Patriots

24.0 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Jones joins Kyler Murray (and Bailey Zappe) as the only two current starting quarterbacks to have not made a big-time throw under pressure. He's also made five turnover-worthy plays to form the highest rate at the position.

32. Zach Wilson, New York Jets

23.1 Passing Grade Under Pressure

Wilson's return from a meniscus tear hasn’t produced the most redeeming numbers on paper. He’s completed just five of his 31 pass attempts against pressure en route to less than 54 yards through the air. To make matters worse, his 8.7 passer rating is the worst among starting quarterbacks. 

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