A Look Into How The 2017 Rookie Qbs Transitioned From Preseason To The Regular Season.

How is Nate Peterman fairing in the NFL so far? Most people will flat out say “awful”, and this may be a true statement up to this point in Nate Peterman’s NFL career. However, the transition from college football to the NFL isn’t easy for any quarterback; we all remember Peyton Manning’s rookie year. Yet this year seems different as 4 of the 5 1st round rookie quarterbacks seem to doing really well with the transition to the NFL. Why is that? Is it because they are simply more physically talented, better coached, or are the Offensive Coordinators game planning simple schemes. My personal opinion is its way too soon to tell.

Like most people I expect the 2018 rookie QBs to struggle once the regular season starts. The game is much faster in the regular season, and Defensive Coordinators are giving their all to confuse opposing QBs. To predict how the 2018 rookies Quarterbacks will do once the regular season starts, we can take a detailed look at the Quarterback Ratings (QBR) of the 2017 rookie Quarterbacks during their first 4 preseason games and compare it to the first four apperances of the regular season.

First of all it is important to understand what the Quarterback Passer Rating (QBR) is and how it is calculated. The QBR is designed to measure the passing efficiency of the Quarterback position. The NFL states “Passer rating is used to evaluate passers, not Quarterbacks”, this is because the Quarterback position is compromised of much more than just passing the football. But don’t worry we can still use this measurement to see the difference between the preseason and regular season QBR to evaluate the transition. ClickHereforFormula

Pre QBR 2017
*All stats from NFL.com game logs

There are many interesting points about the chart above. The first thing is most QBs saw a decline in QBR throughout the preseason. This could be because defenses get NFL film on them from week to week. Make of it what you will, but there are a couple things that jump out at me. From week 2 to week 3 every QB except Brad Kayaa saw a decline in QBR. My best explanation for that is the fact that almost all NFL teams run the “Dress Rehearsal” during week 3 of the preseason. This means the first string players on offense and defense stay in the game longer than other preseason games. In addition to longer playing time, the team formulates a semi-real game-plan in week 3 of the preseason to start the routine of the regular season. Lastly, the majority of the QBs saw an increase in QBR from week 3 to week 4 of the preseason. As we know teams normally wont play the starters in week 4 of the preseason to allow them to focus on prep for week 1 of the regular season. This is why Deshone Kizer didn’t play the final preseason game. Of all of the Rookie QBs last year, Kizer was the only one to start week one of the regular season. For the decreases in Mitch Trubisky and C.J. Beathard, they didn’t play a lot during the last preseason game of 2017. Mitch had 5 throws and Beathard had 9 throws for only 31 yards.

As for Nate Peterman, he was in the middle of the pack during the 2017 preseason (as  expected for a 5th round pick). Just Remember it will not be the end of the world if Josh Allen and the other rookie QBs take a small step back in QBR this week.

Reg QBR 2017
*All stats from NFL.com game logs

This chart shows the QBR for the first 4 games of the regular season that each QB appeared in. The result of this measurement are inconsistent for each QB. Nate Peterman was very efficient as a passer when closing out the Saints game at New Era Field, however his 2nd game was in LA…and well I won’t go into that. Deshaun Watson is the outlier here as he seemed to get better in every game, yet every other QB had lower average QBR from the preseason to the regular season.

Preseason 2017 average QBR Reg.Season 2017 average QBR in first 4 appearances
Trubisky 78.0 Trubisky 75.7
Mahomes 109.3 Mahomes 76.4 * only 1 appearance
Watson 66.9 Watson 88.0
Kizer 73.1 Kizer 51.7
Webb 68.7 Webb 0.0
Beathard 101.0 Beathard 63.1
Dobbs 68.3 Dobbs 0.0
Peterman 78.0 Peterman 73.7
Kayaa 83.6 Kayaa 0.0
Kelly 0.0 Kelly 0.0

Based on the QBR of the 2017 rookie QBs from the Preseason and the QBR while transitioning to the Regular Season we find out pretty quickly who is ready to play and who isn’t ready to play QB at the NFL level. Watson seemed to improve in every game, whereas some QBs remained somewhat consistent from the preseason to the regular season (Peterman included), and some who got a lot worse while transitioning to the regular season.

Overall I’m certainly not ready to write off Peterman as a QB who cant make it on this level, but he clearly wasn’t ready to play last year. As the QBR for last year shows, hes not the worst passing QB of the 2017 draft class, and hes not far from the top in terms of passing efficiency. If he transitions to the 2018 regular season as the starter he will need to be much more consistent in passing efficiency to keep the job, and so far this preseason he has shown huge improvements. Time will tell if his improvements will carry over to the regular season.

Week 1 QBR-109.6

Week 2 QBR-147.1

There is a good chance he wont be able to showcase his improvements week 1, but if he does he will be on a very short leash.

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