Carson Palmer stats: Breaking down his numbers by type of dropback

Jonathan Ferrey

More numbers on Palmer.

We are close to finishing up the Carson Palmer series. Today we will look at how he performed, based on the type of dropback (quick throw, three-step, five-step, seven-step).

Pro Football Focus broke down the numbers for almost all the league's QBs, and it is from there I get Palmer's stats.

Palmer threw 572 passes in 2013. His dropback numbers are split up like this:

  • 24 throws with a dropback of 1-3 yards (WR screens, goalline fades) -- 4.1 percent
  • 90 throws on a three-step drop -- 15.7 percent
  • 320 throws on a five-step drop -- 55.9 percent
  • 132 throws on a seven-step drop -- 23.1 percent
  • Six were unaccounted for

Palmer, along with Peyton Manning, led the league in throws from essentially a one-step drop. Palmer was 21/24 for 109 yards and two touchdowns. PFF graded him the fifth-most effective.

From a three-step drop, Palmer was 65/90 for 507 yards, two scores and one pick. His yards per attempt (5.6) was below the league average, but his completion percentage (72.2 percent) was above the mean. He was PFF's seventh-highest graded QB with such dropbacks.

From the five-step drop, Palmer's PFF grade went down. He was among the lower third of QBs and had a negative grade. He was 199/320 for 2398 yards, 17 TDs and 14 INTs. He averaged 7.5 yards per attempt and threw the ball 9.9 yards down the field on average. He was above the league average in each of those categories.

From the seven-step drop, Palmer struggled. Although average in terms of PFF grade, he was 74/132 (56.6 percent) for 1213 yards, three scores and seven interceptions. Only Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford threw more picks. Palmers yards per attempt was 9.2 and he threw the ball down the field 14.4 yards past the line of scrimmage on average. His TD/INT ratio was less than half the league average, but his YPA and depth of throw were above average.

Once again we see where he struggled more the deeper the drop.

Is he really a good fit for the Bruce Arians offense, or was this more part of the learning curve? We don't have these same numbers compared from one half to the other half of the season. We do know that Arians began using the shorter, quicker passing game more as the season went on, which Palmer succeeded at. Will that continue, or will the hypothetically improved offensive line give Palmer more time to be more effective at longer drops and more downfield throws?

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