Judging by a tweet they sent out on Wednesday, Pro Football Focus reads this site.
Not long after I posted my five-year study results of 15 quarterbacks and their attempted red zone end zone passing attempts, they tweeted out what you see below:
The quarterbacks who threw the ball into the end zone the most in 2017. pic.twitter.com/HqOKoikuPx
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 11, 2018
While their tweet does provide a little bit of information as it relates to three quarterbacks who threw the ball into the end zone the most in 2017, it doesn’t include any context whatsoever. In fact, my data shows that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed just one of his 12 pass attempts from outside the red zone to the end zone for 41 yards with one touchdown and an interception in 2017. That data would add some context to their tweet.
The PFF tweet, however, gave me an idea to research how quarterbacks performed statistical over the course of the last five years when it came to them throwing the football into the end zone from outside the red zone, instead of from within it. After all, there’s no sense for me regurgitate the stats I posted Wednesday morning, right?
Like I did with my red zone end zone study, I used the same 15 quarterbacks for my outside the red zone study. Those 15 quarterbacks include Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Philip Rivers, Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Matt Ryan, Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, and Tom Brady.
Remember, these are pass attempts from outside the red zone that purportedly traveled in the air to the end zone. In other words, if the pass was completed it was a touchdown.
As for as the five-year study results go, Rodgers had the highest completion rate of the 15 quarterbacks researched. However, it is worth noting that only Smith had less deep end zone attempts than him. Additionally, Rodgers missed the equivalent of one full regular season over the course of the last five years due to injuries. Luck also missed a season and a half as well.
As far as Roethlisberger’s results go, his 33.3 completion percentage over the course of the last five seasons has him ranked sixth overall of the 15 quarterbacks I studied. However, and probably not surprisingly, only Newton attempted more passes into the end zone from outside the red zone than Roethlisberger has over the course of the last five seasons. The average completion percentage of the 15 quarterbacks used in this study is 30.5, so Roethlisberger is clearly above that.
While Brady had the highest completion percentage of the same 15 quarterbacks when it came to red zone end zone throws, outside the red zone he’s been miserable when attempting to throw for the end zone the last five seasons. That’s probably not a huge surprise, or a concern, however, as Brady would much rather throw shorter when outside the red zone as he does that extremely well.
I hope these results along with the ones from my previous study help add quite a bit of context to quarterbacks around the league when it comes to their pass attempts into the end zone from all areas of the field.
QB End Zone Passing Statistics Outside Red Zone (2013-2017)