So we've been hearing a bit of encouring chatter in regards to Geno. Of course, having torn our collective hairs out over the course of the past two seasons (at least those of us who still had hair left after the Sanchez experience), being skeptical is quite natural. I am sure we all remember too well the disastrous start to last season that led to Geno's benching. Well, Geno sat the bench for about a month and after a couple games of watching Vick bomb just as poorly, a bye week and a Vick benching, Geno returned to under center. There's been plenty of talk about how Geno's play improved over the course of those final five and a half games. Well, I figured I'd compile some statistics with the help of Pro Football Focus to quantify just how much our quarterback did improve and in what areas. As skeptical as any of you, I decided to check out his statistical breakdowns using that bye week as a split point and what I found was actually a marked improvement in nearly every area.
|NFL QB Rating
|PFF QB Rating
Yards In Air/Att
You can see the improvement in each of these basic quarterback stats. Much of Geno's improvement points to his improved accuracy. His yards in the air (excluding both drops and yards after the catch) per attempt show a marked improvement, going from the bottom of the league (ahead of only EJ Manuel in this category), to the very top of the league (by that I mean number 1 amongst qualifying quarterbacks - those with at least 100 drop backs) in that time-frame.
So where was the improvement coming from? Seemingly from everywhere.
It would seem that a lot of Geno's improvement may have come on his deep accuracy. This is a particularly encouraging sign as this was something of an area of strength for him in his rookie season. So it is good to see that his form returned in this area as he went from dead last to ranked 7th in deep passing accuracy, which it should be noted is on par with where he was as a rookie.
|When Under Pressure
Perhaps the most encouring sign however is how Geno dealt with pressure. This was a parcicularly frustrating area during his rookie year which he should little improvement in during the first half of the season. As you can see, upon his return, his accuracy when under pressure made a considerable leap (dead last to ranked 12th) despite seeing pressure just as often.
|2.5 secs and less
|2.6 secs and more
|NFL QB Rating
|NFL QB Rating
And there is perhaps encouraging signs that he has room to improve even further as his average time to throw showed no improvement during this final stretch (ranked 3rd in either time-frame). In fact, it would seem he actually held onto the ball for long plays even more after the bye week than he had previously. If Gailey's offense can help him get the ball out quicker, and Geno can build on the other areas of improvement, it's possible that we can see his overall numbers skew even farther towards the positive.