Pro Football Focus put together a piece that examined quarterback play and facing pressure. While the numbers they showed, both good and bad, did not have any mention of Carson Palmer, it did get me thinking about how he did with and without pressure. After all, pressure was an issue for Cardinals quarterbacks in 2012.
First, as noted on the site, something you will find depressing is the fact that, when facing no pressure at all, John Skelton and Ryan Lindley were among the league's worst. The numbers were compiled over five seasons, and Skelton, when facing no pressure, had the lowest PFF grade (-25.2), throwing for 12 TDs and 17 INT. In 2012 alone, He threw for two TDs and six picks. He faced no pressure 65 percent of his dropbacks.
Ryan Lindley was interesting. We know he did not throw for a single Cardinals TD (multiple throws went for opponents' scores). But he did worse under no pressure than with pressure. All seven of his interceptions came with no pressure, and he saw no pressure 80 percent of the time.
What about Kevin Kolb? He faced no pressure 57 percent of the time, meaning 43 percent of the time he was under pressure. With no pressure, he was very good -- seven TDs and two picks, completing 62 percent of his passes. When pressured, he completed 54 percent of his passes. He was sacked 27 times (217 total dropbacks). He threw for a score and a pick.
Now...on to Palmer. He was left unpressured 69 percent of the time. In 189 pressures, he took 26 sacks. Note that. Kolb took 217 total dropbacks with 27 sacks. Palmer was pressured 189 times, which was only 31 percent of his dropbacks, and was sacked one less time.
As for the numbers, when pressured, Palmer completed 52.5 percent of his passes (as opposed to over 64 percent) for seven TDs and five INTs. It was good for a passer rating of 74.7, but a PFF grade of -6.6.
Now, the eyeball test tells us this -- Palmer is a much more confident thrower. Despite playing behind an Oakland offensive line that was not good, he got rid of the ball quickly.
Are there any other observations to be made?
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