• Ryan Tannehill bounces back: The Titans signal-caller not only finished second among quarterbacks in completion rate (83.3%) and accuracy rate (77.3%) in Week 2, but he also finished third in big-time throw rate (7.7%) and first in yards per attempt (10.3).
• Jared Goff opening up: Goff recorded an 8.1% big-time throw rate in Week 2, second to only Trevor Lawrence. He attempted five deep passes of 20-plus yards, completing three of them for 102 yards and a score to earn a 93.0 deep passing grade for the day.
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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Quarterback is the most important position on the field, but we can often get stuck in their most recent blunders or successes, making it difficult to come up with an objective ranking.
This analysis utilizes a statistical technique called Bayesian Updating. It is a method PFF has used many times, notably when we looked at the 2018 and 2019 draft classes. With Bayesian Updating, we can use individual results to project PFF grades and expected points added (EPA) per play.
You can find details of how Bayesian Updating is implemented here, including a primer on how we build a posterior belief (or projection) based on historical quarterback results before updating those beliefs for each quarterback with their actual NFL results on a play-by-play basis.
The rankings in the table below are based on the posterior means of quarterback ratings (their raw grade on each play) and EPA. The posterior mean estimates the mean based on information from prior beliefs and observed data. The rankings are based on their projected average EPA and average rating for the next week.
Here is how the league's quarterbacks stack up after Week 2. It's important to note that there are just two games in this sample, so look for the likes of Joe Burrow and Josh Allen to bounce back as the season progresses. For now, this provides a look at who exceeded and fell short of expectations two weeks into the campaign.
2023 Week 2 Analytical Quarterback Rankings
Most efficient passer: Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
Tannehill struggled in Week 1, throwing three interceptions en route to a sub-50.0 PFF grade, but he bounced back in a big way in Week 2.
The Titans signal-caller not only finished second among quarterbacks in completion rate (83.3%) and accuracy rate (77.3%) in Week 2, but he also finished third in big-time throw rate (7.7%) and first in yards per attempt (10.3). On top of that, he didn't throw a single interception or record a turnover-worthy play.
Tannehill went 20-of-24 for 246 yards, one touchdown and eight first downs, with 74.0% of his passing yards coming through the air rather than after the catch, the best mark among signal-callers in Week 2.
His efficiency allowed the Titans to beat one of the better teams in the league.
Most explosive passer: Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
Jared Goff recorded an 8.1% big-time throw rate in Week 2, second to only Trevor Lawrence. He attempted five deep passes of 20-plus yards, completing three of them for 102 yards and a score to earn a 93.0 deep passing grade for the day.
Best under pressure: Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mayfield was pressured on 48.6% of his dropbacks in Week 2, but on those dropbacks, he still managed to go 12-of-15 for 207 yards and a touchdown.
Mayfield's 75.7 PFF grade on pressured dropbacks ranked second to only Jalen Hurts‘ 81.1, but the Bucs signal-caller averaged a ridiculous 13.8 yards per attempt on a significant number of dropbacks, generating a position-best 0.682 expected points added (EPA) per play in the process.
Best out of the pocket: Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
Lawrence earned a position-best 83.4 PFF grade and a 33.3% big-time throw rate on throws outside the pocket in Week 2. Although he completed only two of his six attempts, he finished fourth in passing yards (56) and had no interceptions on those throws on the move.
Carrying the team: Daniel Jones, New York Giants
As I stated last week, no metric quantifies the quarterback’s performance relative to the rest of the offense, so I looked at the grades of each team's offensive players and compared them to the grades of their quarterbacks.
Not only did Jones finish Week 2 as the highest-graded player on his team at 92.5, but that mark tied with Ryan Tannehill as the best at the position this week. Jones completed 26 of his 37 pass attempts for 321 yards, two touchdowns and an unlucky interception, finishing top-10 in yards per attempt (8.7, fifth), adjusted completion percentage (79.4%, 10th) and big-time throw rate (5.4%, eighth).
The next-highest-graded Giants player who played 20 or more snaps in the game was tight end Darren Waller, who finished with a 75.9 PFF grade.
Quick passes: Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
Looking solely at throws that took up to 2.5 seconds from snap to pass, Herbert finished fifth in passing grade, second in EPA per play and first in the percentage of plays with positive EPA. The team may have lost, but a high-paced offense suits Herbert and the Chargers.
Herbert also led in completion rate on quick passes at 91.7% and finished fourth in accurate-plus throw rate, throws put in a perfect location for the given situation.