The NFL's 5 Best Deep-Ball Quarterbacks From 2016
In baseball, it's a given that peeps dig the long ball. Nobody's ever complained about a monster dinger off the facing of the upper deck, so it's all Gucci there.
It's a bit different with football. If you're chucking taters down the field, and they're getting picked off, the masses will not hesitate to revolt. The result of the long ball matters, and not all were created equal.
The question, though, is which quarterbacks do this best? If we know who's slinging it most efficiently, we can unabashedly embrace their long balls while withholding adoration for those less skilled in this department.
Luckily, numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP) helps us do exactly this. NEP tracks the expected points a quarterback adds on each throw, providing a measure of how beneficial each attempt is. It also penalizes for incompletions and interceptions, so all of those Jay Cutler DGAF bombs will be staring his metrics straight in the grill.
Let's go through and rank the top five guys in this department from the 2016 season. We'll be ranking them based on their Passing NEP per attempt on throws at least 16 yards down the field for players who had at least 50 such attempts for the season. We'll count them down starting with number five, and this one isn't a surprise.