Exploring FTN Data: QBs Under Pressure

FTN's Brett Whitefield uses FTN Data to dive in on some of the most successful quarterbacks under pressure in 2020.

Jul 06, 2021, 2:00 PM EDT

We continue along in our series Exploring FTN Data. Our new website along with a plethora of new amazing tools will launch sometime this summer so we are taking the opportunity to talk about a lot of the different metrics and insider stats that will be commonly mentioned over at FTN Data and FTN Fantasy. Nothing groundbreaking here but one of things our data set allows us to do is isolate certain stats/metrics vs. specific situations. Here we take a look at how quarterbacks performed while under pressure using some more commonly known stats like yards per attempt and passer rating and juxtaposing them vs when the QB was under pressure. Below are three quarterbacks that performed well statistically while under pressure in 2020. While these metrics aren’t necessarily stable year over year, being able to isolate these stats can certainly help with playing matchups week to week for those looking to get an edge in season-long or DFS fantasy formats.

  1. Justin Herbert: As a rookie in 2020, Herbert did incredible things while under pressure. His performance was so strong it's almost impossible we won’t see a regression from him in 2021. Only a handful of quarterbacks faced pressure on a higher percentage of dropbacks than Herbert’s 58.3%, but he didn’t let it affect him, leading the NFL in passer rating while under pressure (100.4). While under pressure, Herbert also saw the lowest dropoff in yards per attempt where he actually saw an uptick going from 7.06 from a clean pocket to 7.77 while under pressure. He also tossed 13 of his 31 TDs while under pressure.
  2. Matthew Stafford: While Stafford didn’t face pressure at near the rate of the other guys on this list, he made the most of it when he was and saw the second-lowest dip in passer rating when under pressure with a mark of -13.2. Stafford did a good job keeping his eyes downfield and delivering the ball when faced with pressure. To that point, only Tom Brady and Deshaun Watson had a higher average depth of target when under pressure than Stafford’s 11.0 yards.
  3. Lamar Jackson: Jackson has the distinct advantage of being able to escape most pressure when he faces it and it shows up on the stat sheet. His playmaking ability with his legs has led Jackson to being one of two players who actually increased their YPA while under pressure (7.45 vs 7.29). Not to mention Jackson’s ability to move the chains with his feet when pressured which doesn’t show up in his passing numbers.

Follow along the whole Exploring FTN DATA series here