Teams expend a lot of energy to protect their quarterbacks. They draft the best possible left tackle to guard his blind side. Teams craft game plans around how to keep their quarterback upright. They offer combo help for lineman in trouble, implement slide protection and play action. They keep tight ends in to block and tell running backs to chip before they release for their pattern.
So, how good are the teams in the AFC West doing when it comes to protecting their quarterback? This article will break down each team’s passing attempts, and how many pressures each team has given up to find a pressure-to-attempt ratio that will tell us which quarterback is under the most amount of pressure, when he throws after two games.
Let’s take a look…
|AFC West Passing Attempts per Pressure|
After two weeks Pro Football Spotlight has crowned the San Diego Chargers as the pocket protectors of the AFC West. At first blush a fan might notice that the Chargers allow a pressure every 2.75 attempts while the Kansas City Chiefs allow pressure every 2.8 attempts. So why aren’t the Chiefs in 1st?
Of the teams in the chart above the Chargers and the Broncos, Broncos first game, are the only teams that lined up in a shot gun formation and had more 5 step drops than the other two teams. Kansas City and Oakland use a lot of play action, quick passes, screens, slide protections with bootlegs, etc (Broncos used a lot of this in the second game). All in the attempt to reduce the amount of pressure on the quarterback and to get their receivers open. And that is just good game planning. But when the number of 5 step drops and shot gun formations are brought into the equation…the Chargers come out on top.
So players like Marcus McNeill, Kris Dielman, Nick Hardwick, Louis Vasquez, and Jeromy Clary are stepping up and providing the best protection in the AFC West for Philip Rivers.
AFC West Pocket Pressure
| After Week #2
||Passing Attempts||Pressures||Attempts per Pressure
|San Diego Chargers||88||32||2.75|
|Kansas City Chiefs||59||21||2.80|