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Analyzing Pocket Time for Quarterbacks So Far


Several factors play a role in the success of quarterbacks in the NFL. One of those factors is pocket time. Pocket time is defined as the average time in seconds before a quarterback throws the ball or has pressure.

For the most part, quarterbacks who have more pocket time are more successful but that’s not always the case. If an offense is designed to get the ball out quickly the pocket time will obviously be shorter than the average. With that said let’s take a look at the pocket time for quarterbacks so far and point out some interesting facts.

PlayerPKT TIMESacksKnockdownsHurriesRating
Russell Wilson (DEN)2.7262223100
Jalen Hurts (PHI)2.619163295
Patrick Mahomes II (KC)2.610353595
Bryce Young (CAR)2.522191983
Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)2.51315577
Ryan Tannehill (TEN)2.51920372
Jordan Love (GB)2.514161781
Zach Wilson (NYJ)2.523273574
Kenny Pickett (PIT)2.517272281
Lamar Jackson (BAL)2.5201311103
Kirk Cousins (MIN)2.5174521103
Joshua Dobbs (MIN)2.517351083
Matthew Stafford (LAR)2.519221483
Justin Herbert (LAC)2.415201796
Dak Prescott (DAL)2.41716695
Baker Mayfield (TB)2.411182190
C.J. Stroud (HOU)2.415212595
Geno Smith (SEA)2.414223392
Sam Howell (WAS)2.441321890
Brock Purdy (SF)2.4141921103
Gardner Minshew II (IND)2.314121886
Josh Allen (BUF)2.3122129101
Jared Goff (DET)2.315312498
Desmond Ridder (ATL)2.325201886
Derek Carr (NO)2.319161392
Tyrod Taylor (NYG)2.21081468
Mac Jones (NE)2.216182678
Joe Burrow (CIN)2.11726787
Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)2.1111116108
Trevor Lawrence (JAC)219202695

In the chart above I took out quarterbacks who played less than 7 games. This way we get a good sample size of games played and can focus in on starting quarterbacks. I also kept in sacks, hurries and knockdowns to analyze if a reduced pocket time led to more quarterback pressures. Finally, I kept in passer rating to see if more pocket time led to a better overall rating. Let’s now focus on the quarterbacks that stick out to me.

Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence

Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence headline the bottom of this list with the least amount of pocket time. These two quarterbacks have their teams at the top of the AFC despite the least amount of pocket time. How are they so successful? Well for one the Dolphins offense is built on motion, misdirection and getting the ball out quickly. These play designs are built perfectly for Tagovailoa who doesn’t have to sit back in the pocket and absorb pressure.

In the case of Trevor Lawrence he is one the best at getting the ball out quickly and to his playmakers. Like Tagovailoa the Jaguars run a lot of RPO plays but their ADOT (Average Depth of Target) for wide receivers is 6.9 yards which is towards the bottom of the league.

Sam Howell and Patrick Mahomes

Next, let’s look at sacks and the two quarterbacks who are at the top and bottom of this category. Commanders quarterback Sam Howell has been sacked a massive 41 times so far this season but how many of those sacks are on him? Howell has an average pocket time of 2.4 seconds which is towards the top of the league. The problem with Howell is he at times holds on to the ball too long looking for the big play.

In contrast, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has only been sacked 10 times this season and has the 2nd highest pocket time at 2.6 seconds. Does that mean the Chiefs offensive line is that much better? Not necessarily as Mahomes is the best in the NFL at pocket movement and buying time with his legs. It will be fascinating to watch how these pocket times change in the 2nd half of the season for these quarterbacks and the ones that make the playoffs.

Written by
Justin Fuhr

Justin is the Owner of Pro Football Mania. He is an NFL and fantasy football fanatic who enjoys analyzing data and analytics in sports.

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