Interesting piece on how Weeden has held up against extra pressure vs. a clean pocket
No Pressure, Weeden
What are the proper expectations for a rookie quarterback in today’s NFL? The first-year struggles of previous Hall of Fame QBs make Brandon Weeden’s league-worst -10.9 grade somewhat forgivable. But it’s tough for the Browns’ fans to cut the 29-year old some slack when the supposedly-raw Ryan Tannehill throws for 431 yards. What’s odd about Weeden’s first four NFL games is that his performance declines when defenses don’t pressure him. He’s thrown two touchdowns and three interceptions for a -1.7 grade when under duress, versus one touchdown, four interceptions and a -6.4 mark from a clean pocket. After facing a blitz on just 16.8% of his drop-backs in the first three weeks, Weeden actually held up decently when the Baltimore Ravens blitzed him 49.1% of the time last week. He passed for 322 yards and would have had a lot more if not for a shameful seven drops from his receivers.
The Giants defense lamented that they played more cautiously after safety Kenny Phillips left last week’s game with a knee injury, but that may be the best move against Weeden. New York’s secondary has been decimated by injuries, and the once-dependable Corey Webster ranks behind all NFL CBs with a -6.0 pass coverage grade this season. Justin Tuck (five QB pressures in four games) and the Giants’ front four has not lived up to their pass rush reputation this season, but Weeden’s struggles when left to his own devices should encourage New York to resist sending extra rushers at the rookie quarterback.