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NFC West QBs coming up short (not deep)

Tre9er asked via Twitter for passing stats by how far the ball traveled downfield before reaching its intended target.

Mike Sando: ESPN Stats & Information tracks this category for every game. Allison Loucks, Manager of Statistics, recently distributed a related note pertaining specifically to St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford:

"No quarterback has thrown shorter than 15 yards more often than Bradford this season (minimum 100 attempts). Bradford has struggled on deep throws this season, completing 24 percent of his passes at least 15 yards downfield. He has fared much better on throws shorter than 15 yards, throwing fewer interceptions in more attempts.

Bradford ranks among the league leaders in pass completions gaining at least 30 yards. He has 10 such plays despite completing only five passes on balls that traveled more than 20 yards in the air. This suggests Bradford has the timing and accuracy needed to set up receivers for yards after the catch.

I've put together three charts showing how NFC West quarterbacks have fared on passes traveling various distances, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information.

Derek Anderson's efficiency improves as he throws farther downfield. The opposite is true for every other starting quarterback in the division. Anderson has a strong arm, but his short accuracy isn't a strength. Anderson also benefits from Steve Breaston's speed at receiver.

NFC West QBs: Passes Traveling 10 Yards or Less

Bradford's numbers fall off most from the first to second categories.

NFC West QBs: Passes Traveling 11 to 20 yards

The deep ball has never been a strength for Hasselbeck. He's best throwing shorter and intermediate passes between the yard-line numbers.

NFC West QBs: Passes Traveling 21+ Yards