Kansas Metropolis Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes surprised within the NFL season opener, however what surprised Chiefs followers extra was a PFF Week 1 QB rating.
After an offseason stuffed with preemptive energy rankings primarily based on hypothesis, having Week 1 performances to lastly grade quarterbacks on solidifies some assumptions whereas difficult others.
For instance, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is thought for airing it out and being fast on his toes — that’s why he pushed for a serious contract this offseason, in spite of everything. However that’s not what occurred on Sunday when Murray accomplished 22 of 34 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Murray solely handed for 200 yards in a single sport final season, though his makes an attempt and touchdowns weren’t out of the strange.
Murray could have gained when he hardly handed versus the Chicago Bears final season, however it didn’t work in opposition to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. The Chiefs pummeled the Cardinals in a 44-21 sport which noticed Patrick Mahomes placed on a magic present. Mahomes accomplished 30 of 39 passes for 360 yards and 5 touchdowns.
So when PFF fantasy and betting social lead Jarad Evans shared the highest ten highest-graded quarterbacks in Week 1 based on PFF, it got here as a shock to those that noticed Mahomes thrive in his component.
“Highest-graded” implies that the quarterbacks are ranked so as of who had one of the best sport, and it’s laborious to consider that anybody was higher than Mahomes on Sunday.
Truly, each statements are true: Patrick Mahomes was phenomenal, and he ought to nonetheless be ranked No. 8 based on PFF’s grading scale.
Why Patrick Mahomes deserves to be No. 8, based on PFF
Let’s discuss “highest-graded”, as a result of what that time period means colloquially and what it means to PFF analysts are two separate issues.
Finishing the vast majority of his passes, scoring 5 touchdowns, and passing the size of the sector three and a half occasions point out that Mahomes was profitable when he was on the sector. He made the performs he wanted to make, scoring shortly and effectively — that obtained the Chiefs an overwhelming win, and that’s precisely what followers prefer to see.
In that regard, Mahomes earns excessive marks throughout the board for finishing that goal: scoring excessive and getting his crew the win.
Nevertheless, that isn’t what PFF seems to be at once they decide their grades. Their web site provides a thorough explanation of what goes into their grading system, together with how they grade quarterback play, however admittedly, it will possibly nonetheless be complicated for followers who noticed what appeared to be an impeccable efficiency from Mahomes. Evans, who initially shared the checklist, spoke with FanSided about what his coworkers study once they decide participant grades.
To make clear, Evans isn’t one in every of PFF’s graders, however he did share his understanding of how the method works:
“Mahomes is clearly wonderful and had an awesome sport, however judging from what PFF graders have stated, a whole lot of his manufacturing got here on performs that had been so huge open that the QB was anticipated to make the play.”
Evans then shared a tweet from Sam Monson, PFF’s lead NFL analyst.
“We grade the play the QB made, not what outcomes it led to,” Monson wrote.
Monson referred to one in every of Josh Allen’s two interceptions, explaining how Allen made a tough play and obtained the ball to his receiver. Defending his huge receiver from a closing hit is a talent that many NFL quarterbacks don’t all the time apply, and it requires Allen to learn the protection correctly and place the ball within the good place so his receiver isn’t harm.
This isn’t to say lower-ranked quarterbacks don’t do that — Tom Brady is legendary for doing this, and he was No. 9 on the checklist — however it’s a mirrored image of who made probably the most of a difficult scenario. Monson argues that Allen’s efficiency got here with extra challenges than that of Mahomes, mentioning the metric of an “anticipated QB play.”
“Not giving a whole lot of credit score isn’t the identical factor as punishing,” Monson wrote.
In different phrases, PFF is grading quarterbacks primarily based on the distinctive scenario they face on that specific day and the way they carry out in response to these challenges.
It’s not a foul factor, and should not even be Mahomes’ fault, if he’s graded decrease — a few of that’s outdoors of his management. Monson mentions down and distance and the way tight the protection is as elements that matter, which signifies that if Mahomes connects with Kelce within the endzone and Kelce beats the protection, which may be graded as a much less difficult play. Stunning, however much less difficult.
In actual fact, there are a whole lot of doubtlessly constructive takeaways from this. Mahomes advantages from Andy Reid’s playcalling, which facilitates wide-open receivers — that’s an excellent factor. The Chiefs have improved their offensive line, so Mahomes might be anticipated to make higher reads as a result of he has extra time behind the road.
Josh Allen had a improbable return, however so did the opposite quarterbacks on the checklist (together with a criminally-overlooked Davis Mills). All that this grade means for Chiefs followers is that in Week 1, Mahomes had it straightforward, and that’s by no means a foul factor.