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Statistical deep dive into Siemian’s impressive showing against the Falcons

While he may not be the Saints’ first option to be under center, it’s hard to blame Trevor Siemian for the loss on Sunday.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a New Orleans Saints receiving corps severely lacking in talent and a slew of drops skewing his box score stats, Trevor Siemian displayed an impressive level of accuracy and poise against the Atlanta Falcons’ defense this past Sunday.

The number of drops recorded varies depending on which site you look at, but it was somewhere between three and six well-thrown balls that went through receiver's hands. On a few of them, there might have been a defender’s hand on the ball that caused the incompletion, meaning it’s not technically a drop by some definitions. But nonetheless, receivers were not helping Trevor out.

This is shown by the discrepancy in completion percentage and adjusted completion percentage, which accounts for things quarterbacks can’t control, like drops.

His completion % was only 61%, but his adjusted completion % was 73.7. And obviously, his 249 passing yards would be higher with some of these drops being caught.

According to PFF, out of 29 qualifying QBs on Sunday, Siemian ranked 10th in accuracy %. And he also ranked seventh-best as far as his uncatchable pass rate — only 12% of his passes were inaccurate and uncatchable — for comparison, there were five QBs over 30%.

This is a big reason why despite that low completion rate, PFF gave him a solid 76.7 passing grade, which ranked eighth out of 29.

He also handled pressure pretty well, with the ninth-highest grade when pressured (on 11 drop backs).

Siemian only had one turnover-worthy play, which came on a ball that was a bit behind his receiver in the red zone on a crossing route that could’ve possibly been picked off. And even that throw wasn’t caused by pressure.

He only executed eight play-action drop backs in the game, and was actually better on non-PA drop backs — 6.4 yards per attempt on straight DBs and 4.8 off of PA.

One thing to keep an eye on with Siemian moving forward could be his time with the ball in his hands. He was holding the ball for an average of 2.90 seconds per drop back on Sunday, which was tied for the 10th-highest among qualifiers.

That may not seem high, but he’s one of the only QBs in that top 10 who isn’t a running threat. Typically, you see running QBs with higher times to throw because they buy time outside of the pocket and make plays.

2.9 seconds is a high mark for a statue like Siemian. And if it doesn’t go down, you might start to see higher sack numbers than the one he sustained in this game.

Siemian looked best in the short level of the passing game. On throws with a target depth of 0-9 yards past the line of scrimmage, his 81.3 passing grade ranked second among all QBs.

He went 15-18 for 137 yards and 1 TD on such passes.

Overall, Siemian played about as well as you could’ve hoped for against the rival Falcons, but was let down by his weapons. Hopefully, they can step up and make his job easier against the Titans.


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