Which Quarterbacks Threw Deep Most Often in 2016?
When you're playing football as a kid, there are no check downs. There are no screen passes in the flat. You're not settling for the crossing route over the middle.
You're chucking that puppy deep. What happens after that is inconsequential.
In the NFL, things are a bit different. Some quarterbacks are fully content with taking what the defense gives them and dinking and dunking their way down the field. In certain offenses, such a strategy can be effective. But we're not here to talk about that today.
Instead, we want to channel our inner child and embrace the thrill of the deep ball. We can do that by looking at the five quarterbacks who went deep most often during the 2016 season to see who would get our 10-year-old selves all giddy.
We'll define a deep pass as any attempt that goes at least 16 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. That number divided by the player's total pass attempts will give us what we'll refer to as their "deep rate." The list will be restricted to only players who had at least 200 total attempts during the season.
Additionally, we'll also be peeping each player's effectiveness on these passes with the help of numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP), the metric we use to track the efficiency of offenses. NEP shows the expected points added on each pass while also deducting for events such as incompletions and interceptions. Success Rate refers to the percentage of attempts that lead to an increase in expected points for the drive.
With that in mind, let's count them down from five through one for the guys who went deep most often this past year.