Matt Ryan, Drew Brees excel vs. blitz

Other than age, there’s an easy way to see who the most experienced quarterbacks in the NFC South are.

With some help from ESPN Stats & Information, I just took a look at what division quarterbacks (and I’m using Jimmy Clausen as Carolina’s representative) are doing against four or fewer pass rushers as compared to what they’re doing when five or more pass rushers come after them.

There’s an easy trend to spot. New Orleans’ Drew Brees and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan actually get better against the blitz. Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman holds up pretty well against it, but isn’t quite as efficient as when he sees four or fewer rushers. Clausen, a rookie, has been horrendous against the blitz.

Let’s take a look at what each division quarterback has done in both situations.


  • Four or fewer rushers: 100 of 156 (64.1 percent), 1,041 yards, six touchdowns, 1 interception, seven sacks and a 93.5 passer rating.

  • Five or more rushers: 64 of 114 (56.1 percent), 922 yards, six touchdowns, four interceptions, nine sacks and an 85.5 passer rating.


  • Four or fewer rushers: 198 of 202 (70.2 percent), 1,924 yards 14 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, five sacks and a 90.8 rating.

  • Five or more rushers: 63 of 89 (70.8 percent), 663 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions, eight sacks and a 97.7 passer rating.


  • Four or fewer rushers: 140 of 223 (62.8 percent), 1,401 yards, eight touchdowns, two interceptions, nine sacks and a 90.0 passer rating.

  • Five or more rushers: 72 of 114 (63.2 percent), 864 yards, eight touchdowns, three interceptions, six sacks and a 98.7 passer rating.


  • Four or fewer rushers: 45 of 83 (54.2 percent), one touchdown, three interceptions, two sacks and a 58.1 passer rating.

  • Five or more rushers: 22 of 55 (40.0 percent), zero touchdowns, one interception, 11 sacks for a 47.2 passer rating.