Football has generally good passing statistics including the most commonly cited measure of passing effectiveness, passer rating. However, passer rating fails to capture anything about sacks or plays on which the QB scrambles.
I wanted to come up with a simple statistic to quantify QB contributions on pass plays that do not fall under consideration for passer rating. For that, I define:
Times forced not to pass (FNTP) = (times sacked) + (scrambles using PFR definition)
Yards on FNTP plays = (scramble yards) – (yards lost on sacks)
Yards per FNTP = (yards on FNTP plays) / (times forced not to pass)
Here are all NFL 42 QBs with 100+ passing attempts ranked by Yards per FNTP:
For most QBs, Yards per FNTP is a salvage statistic, meaning QBs are trying to reduce the damage of a play with an expected loss of approximately 1.3 yards across the NFL. Russell Wilson, for example, had a gain of 0.2 on such plays. That means his scrambles were a good offset to a high sack total. By the same token, the Seahawks would like fewer total FNTP plays because 93 plays with 14 yards gained certainly didn’t help their offense.
Only Lamar Jackson can truly make the case that his 5.2 Yards per FNTP was a net help to his team, but was that a rush yards per attempt figure, we could all agree it was “not bad for a running back”.