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Carson Palmer by the numbers: Passing stats by route

How did the Cardinals starter fair when you look at each route?

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In this Carson Palmer series, I was delayed a couple of days on this next piece because I needed some clarification, trying to account for all of Palmer's throws.

Today we look at how Palmer did by route.

Pro Football Focus wrote an analysis of the league's quarterbacks, breaking how they all did route by route. We will look only at Palmer.

To get an idea of what the routes are (I know that not everyone is perfectly familiar with football terminology, this is the graphic that PFF used to show the routes.



On to Palmer:

He attempted passes in 2013. 539 of them were considered "aimed" throws, as PFF credits him with 14 throwaways, eight times he was hit as he threw, 10 passes batted down and one spike.

Of those 539 "aimed throws," they are broken down like this:

  • 74 hitches
  • 73 "dumpoffs" and RB screens
  • 64 outs
  • 62 posts
  • 60 go routes (includes goalline fades)
  • 50 crossing routes
  • 38 WR/TE screens
  • 36 quick outs
  • 31 slants
  • 31 in routes
  • 12 comebacks
  • 8 corners

Now for the breakdown statistically.


Palmer was 50/74 for 477 yards, one TD and one INT. He averaged 6.4 yards per attempt and 7.9 yards was the average throw down the field. His QB rating was 84.1. The whole league averaged 7.1 yards per attempt on hitches, 71 percent completed (Palmer completed 67.6 percent) and a QB rating of 85.1. Palmer fallls a little below the mean. However, the league threw 54 TDs and 77 INTs on hitch routes, while Palmer was even.


Palmer had the sixth highest PFF grade with the out route. He was 43/64 (67.2 percent) for 462 yards, no scores and four picks. He averaged 7.2 yards per attempt and a depth of throw of 9.9 yards past hte line of scrimmage. The picks hurt his rating, which was 62.1.

The league average was 60.7 percent complete, 7.0 yards per attempt, a 9.6 yard depth of throw and a QB rating of 78.7. The league threw four more picks than touchdowns (take Palmer out and the league is even).


Palmer threw more posts (62) than any other QB in the league. He received the fifth highest grade from PFF. He was 32/62 (51.6 percent) for 730 yards, five scores and five picks. He averaged 11.8 yards per attempt and threw the ball down the field on average 17.8 yards. His QB rating was 87.4.

The league average was 49.2 percent complete, 11.9 yards per attempt, a depth of throw of 21.2 yards and a QB rating of 98.2. Palmer was right at the league average. Now, with the high PFF rating, it would seem that some of those interceptions were likely not his fault.

Go routes:

Palmer was good and bad on these. He was PFF's lowest graded QB. He completed 18/60 passes (30 percent) for 507 yards, seven TDs and seven INTs. He averaged 8.5 yards per attempt, threw the ball 27.3 yards down the field on average and had a QB rating of 61.6. 11 quarterbacks attempted more such throws. Only one -- Eli Manning -- threw more picks on go routes and one other one -- Matt Ryan -- threw as many. In fairness, only seven threw more touchdowns.

The league average was more than a 2/1 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions. The league completed over 33 percent of go route passes for an average of 9.5 yards per attempt and throws that averaged 24.4 yards down the field. The QB rating for the league was 84.4.

Palmer struggled, as can be seen, but with the seven touchdowns, he and his team were rewarded for those attempts.

Crossing routes:

Palmer was PFF's eighth lowest graded QB on crossing routes. He was 36/50 (72 percent) for 428 yards, one score and two interceptions. He had 8.6 yards per attempts and threw the ball 7.4 yards down the field on average. His QB rating was 87.8.

The league completed 73.7 percent of crossing routes for 8.5 yards per attempts and throws that were 7.4 yards down the field. The TD/INT ratio was 1.27/1.

WR/TE screens:

PFF had a dedicated article on screens. Palmer was graded by PFF as the third best QB on these throws. He completed all 38 of these throws for 209 yards and one touchdown. He averaged 5.5 yards per attempt and had a QB rating of 98.4. He never felt pressure on any of those throws.

The league completed 89.3 percent of said screens and had a TD/INT ratio of 6/1. The league averaged 5.8 yards per screen attempt and had a QB rating of 97.4.

Quick outs:

Palmer was in the middle of the pack in terms of PFF grade. He was 34/36 (94.4 percent complete) for 228 yards, no scores and no picks. He had 6.3 yards per attempt.

The league averaged 5.5 yards per attempt and the TD/INT ratio was 5.8/1.


Again, Palmer was right in the middle in terms of "grade." He was 22/31 (71 percent) for 276 yards, two touchdowns and no picks. He got rid of the ball in 1.61 seconds and avweraged 8.9 yards per attempt, throwing the ball 5.8 yards down the field on average.

The league completed just under 66 percent of slants, averaging 7.5 yards per attempt and throwing the ball 6.2 yards down the field. The league average was 1.57 touchdowns for every interception.

In routes:

Palmer was tenth highest in PFF grade for in routes. He was 20/31 (64.5 percent) for 268 yards, two scores and one pick. He averaged 8.6 yards per attempt and threw the ball 10.6 yards down the field on average. His QB rating was 99.9.

The league average was a 62.3 percent completion rate, 8.7 yards per attempt, 10.9 yards per throw down the field and a rating of 77.6. QBs threw more then two interceptions for every touchdown.


Palmer was graded as the second most effective QB at throwing comebacks by PFF. He was 9/12 (75 percent) for 127 yards, no scores and no interceptions. He gained 10.6 yards per attempts and threw the ball 12.6 yards down the field on average.

The league only threw six TDs and nine INTs on comebacks, averaging 7.1 yards per attempt. The league would get the ball away in 3.6 seconds and would feel pressure at 2.6 seconds. For Palmer, he got the ball away in 3.51 seconds, but was pressured in 2.47 seconds.


Palmer only threw eight of these. He was 3/8 (37.5 percent) for 85 yards, two scores and a pick. He averaged 10.6 yards per attempt and threw the ball 20.1 yards down the field.

The league completed 40.6 percent of corner routes, gained 9.8 yards per attempt and threw the ball 21.3 yards down the field. They threw 4.5 TDs for every one INT.

Dumpoffs and RB screens:

These stats were not kept by PFF. Palmer didn't appear on the list for RB screens because he only attempted three. So on dump off passes, He was 57/73 for 477 yards. He threw three touchdowns and one interception.