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Carson Palmer by the numbers: Comparing stats under center and in shotgun

More numbers to break down about Carson Palmer.

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In the Carson Palmer series I am giving you all, we now come to the piece where we look at how he did in 2013 when he lined up under center and when he took snap from the shotgun.

Pro Football Focus did this for the entire league, and even included the "pistol" formation, which the Cardinals did not use. In those charts, they are sorted by the PFF grade, so you can get a gauge on where Palmer ranked, but it is according to their site grades.

So a look at the numbers...

Under center:

Maybe this will be a surprise to you, but Carson Palmer led the league in dropbacks from under center (262) and the percentage of dropbacks from under center (42.4 percent). He dropped back 262 times from under center. He was sacked 18 times and 159/243 for 1845 yards, 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

His QB rating was 89.6.

Some more of the numbers include -- 7.6 yards per attempt, 10.1 yards down the field per attempt, an average of 2.47 seconds to throw and 2.30 seconds until pressure.

From the shotgun:

Palmer dropped back 356 times, throwing 329 times. He was sacked 23 times. He was 203/329 for 2429 yards, 13 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

His QB rating was 79.7.

The other stats include 7.4 yards per attempt, 9.5 yards down the field per throw, an average of 2.47 seconds to throw the ball, but 2.16 seconds to pressure.


Perhaps the most interesting fact is that Palmer and the Cardinals used the shotgun less than any other team. It was still the formation for the majority of passes. You generally get the feeling that veteran quarterbacks use the shotgun more. Of course, since Bruce Arians likes using multiple tight end sets, that lennds itself more for under center. It gives the defense at least the threat of running the ball.

As for performance, you can tell there is not a huge disparity. The yardage split is very similar to the attempt split. From the shotgun, Palmer was more likely to make a shorter throw and more likely to turn the ball over.

However, the one number that sticks out to me is the pressure time. Palmer has the same time to throw whether he is under center or in the shotgun, but pressure comes more quickly from the shotgun -- almost two tenths of a second more quickly.

You might find this surprising because one of the benefits of the shotgun is that it is used to keep pressure away becauuse the quarterback is already a few yards deep.

What it does is accentuate the fact that the offensive line just wasn't that great last season. When there was the possibility of a run play, the rushers wouldn't get to Palmer as quickly. Take that possibility away and the defenders were faster -- the line wasn't able to keep them off of Palmer. That would mean shorter pass attempts, more pressure and it would explain the higher number of turnovers.

This might be something to look at -- does the number of pass plays from the shotgun increase or decrease? With a potentially better stable of tight ends, they might pass more from the multiple tight end sets. Of course, with Andre Ellington at running back, who also can play out wide and with Ted Ginn and John Brown who can burn from the slot, you might see more spread sets from the shotgun and plays designed to get the playmakers in space.

Can you make any conclusions about Palmer's numbers here?