Deshaun Watson seems to be for real. He’s running and passing for lots of yards, and he’s putting the ball in the end zone. Inside the 10-yard line, in fact, he’s been the most effective passer in the league.
After five weeks, 21 quarterbacks have dropped back to pass at least 10 times when their team was inside the 10-yard line. Watson in that part of the field has gone 7 of 10, all for touchdowns. Alex Smith has also been good in that area, going 7 of 9, with 6 TDs (but also with a sack).
No other quarterback has successfully put the ball in the end zone on more than half of his pass plays inside the 10. Aaron Rodgers has been the most productive overall, completing 12 of 21, with 10 touchdowns.
These are home-cooked numbers, and they’re not official NFL stats (we put them together on our own). Most notably, they include pass attempts on 2-point conversions. Officially, those are non-plays, but we think they’re telling – notable plays (with 2 points hanging in the balance), that help paint the picture of what might happen in that area of the field in the future. So we’ve added them into the totals.
These are numbers that are useful to trot out once in a while, giving you an idea of who’s playing well, and who isn’t.
Among players with at least 10 plays, Carson Palmer has been by far the worst. He’s completed only 6 of 14 pass attempts, and with just one touchdown (plus an interception). Joe Flacco hasn’t been much better, sitting at 4 of 12, with 2 TDs.
Some notable veterans haven’t gotten things rolling yet – Philip Rivers, Derek Carr, Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger have all gotten the ball in the end zone on less of a third of their pass plays.
Jared Goff also shows up near the bottom. He’s considered an improved, up-and-coming quarterback, but he hasn’t been great in that part of the field – 7 of 11 (which seems fine) but with just 3 TDs.
|PASSING INSIDE THE 10|
If you want to dip into the players with fewer than 10 plays, Jacoby Brissett is the runaway leader as the least effective passer in the league so far. He’s completed only 1 of 6 passes, and it was a non-scoring throw. He’s also thrown an interception and taken a league-high 3 sacks.
|FEWER THAN 10 PLAYS|