Oct 23, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) passes in the fourth quarter against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
We don’t need any math to know that we are quick to remember the times where a quarterback creates a successful play amidst a sure failure. Carson Wentz had many such plays last season, in Week 7 against Washington, he sidestepped an onslaught of pass-rushers and threw a perfect strike to generational talent Corey Clement on 3rd & Goal from the 9-yard-line to break their divisional rival’s backs. These plays are hard to forget and make us sit in awe of a quarterback’s poise and talent – as we should. Those plays are massively important and often determine the outcome a game. However, it is important that we don’t confuse plays that explain what happened with performance that is likely to happen again. When you win the lottery you don’t immediately buy more lottery tickets (you go straight to Vegas).
Pressured plays by nature are diverse. You’d be hard-pressed to find two plays under pressure that look exactly alike. To pile on, pressure occurs on just about 35.0 percent of dropbacks making the sample size of pressured plays much smaller than its ‘less-sexy’ counterpart, the clean pocket.
This begs the question, if we want to predict the future, should we put more stock in how a quarterback plays under pressure or from a clean pocket.
Traditional data points: under pressure vs kept clean
To get our bearings, we’ll start by looking at a couple of metrics that everyone is very familiar with: completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating. We considered all quarterback seasons with more than…