The box score lies, especially in small sample sizes, and that’s one reason PFF grades every single player on every play. Especially when it comes to passing stats, the core numbers (completion percentage, yards, touchdowns, and interceptions) paint a picture of a quarterback’s performance, but the throw-by-throw grading often paints a different one.
When a quarterback has better stats than his grading would indicate, we often attribute the difference to strong play from his playmakers, good play-calling or poor coverage by opposing defenses. When a quarterback is grading better than his traditional stats, he’s often on the other side, with little help from his supporting cast, play-calling that doesn’t lead to easy stats or perhaps a strong slate of opposing coverage units.
For Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, the 2019 season has been a story of mostly strong play, and an uncanny number of his best throws falling incomplete. It’s an unexpected result given preseason rankings that had the Eagles with our highest-graded offensive line and receiving corps, but both units have underperformed through four weeks of action. It may surprise you to see Wentz sitting atop the PFF quarterback rankings in the early going with an 88.4 overall grade, but it’s been a season where few signal-callers have put together four clean games, and Wentz has played better than perception on a throw-for-throw basis. Let’s take a look.