The long and short of NFC West QBs

Marty Callinan of ESPN Stats & Information has come through with context for the earlier item detailing Sam Bradford's production last season.

The charts break down passing stats for Bradford and other NFC West quarterbacks based on whether they targeted wide receivers or running backs/tight ends.

The information has been expanded to include passes thrown to fullbacks, not just to halfbacks.

A few quick notes and observations:

  • The final column shows stats for 31 NFL quarterbacks with enough attempts to qualify.

  • Bradford ranked third in attempts to wide receivers. He ranked ninth in targets to tight ends (112) and tied for 17th in targets for running back (81).

  • Matt Hasselbeck, Alex Smith, Troy Smith and John Skelton averaged significantly greater yards per attempt than Bradford on passes thrown to wide receivers. Max Hall averaged quite a bit less.

  • The touchdown and interception totals under the "NFL" column represent averages.

  • Troy Smith's completion percentage to wide receivers was only 41.1, but he averaged a relatively healthy 7.2 yards per attempt on these throws. He was a boom-or-bust quarterback in a game demanding consistency.

  • Alex Smith and Troy Smith had the highest ratings, followed closely by Bradford, on passes thrown to running backs and tight ends. Hasselbeck, Hall and Skelton struggled to produce on these throws. Frank Gore, Brian Westbrook and Steven Jackson all saw their average gains per reception increase by at least 2 yards from 2009 to 2010.

  • I added information for Derek Anderson after this item posted. Thanks to hollywoodshepps for noticing my oversight.

The first chart shows NFC West passing stats when quarterbacks targeted wide receivers.

2010 NFC West QBs: Passing to WRs

The second chart shows NFC West passing stats when quarterbacks targeted running backs and tight ends.

2010 NFC West QBs: Passing to RBs and TEs