"Hey guys? I know the article says I'm good under pressure, but for the love of Ditka that does not mean to keep putting me under pressure!"
It feels like over the last three years, since Jay Cutler has been a Bear, he's spent more time either running from defensive linemen and blitzing linebackers and defensive backs or sitting on his backside on the turf after getting dumped.
Pro Football Focus decided to have a gander at how NFL quarterbacks have performed under pressure, gathered over a three-year sample size. Over that three-year span, Jay Cutler was pressured 37.4% of the time - putting him behind Tim Tebow (42.7%), Michael Vick (40.6%) and Tarvaris Jackson (37.7%) - with far and away more dropbacks than any of those three.
But Cutler hasn't exactly performed badly in those pressure situations, particularly after 2009, the beginning of the sample. In 2009, he had a -18.9 PFF rating - but in our terms, he had a 42.7 completion percentage and his yards/attempt dropped from 6.8 to 6.2. In 2010, he improved that drastically to a 52.2 completion percentage (down from his no-pressure 63.2) and his yards/attempt rose to 7.5 (down from his no-pressure 7.8), leaving him sporting a 68.9 QB rating under pressure. In 2011, though he only played ten games, he actually had a positive PFF rating under pressure at 0.3, and under pressure his yards/attempt were 7.8, up from 7.2 when not under pressure.
In 2011 alone, of quarterbacks that took more than 25% of their team's snaps, Cutler was the 6th-most pressured quarterback at a 38.6% clip. Eli Manning was one step above him at 5 with 38.9%. In sack percentage, Cutler dropped all the way to 23rd (of 36 quarterbacks) with 17.3% of pressures turning into sacks. Manning was 35th at 11.5.
Aaron Rodgers actually fared worse - even though he was only under pressure 27.4% of the time - 28th - he took sacks on 22.6% of those (11th).
And in terms of completion percentage and accuracy percentage under pressure, Cutler was 3rd in completion percentage (56.2%, behind Drew Brees and Tony Romo) and fourth in accuracy percentage (Eli Manning, Brees and Matt Moore (?!)).
Did he adapt to being under pressure so much? Probably. Oddly enough, though he was the fourth-most frequently pressured quarterback, he wasn't anywhere near the top five in sack percentage under pressure, nor in the top five in interception percentage under pressure, over the last three years. Given his 2009 scores, that's really something.
Go ahead and check out the rest of the article. What are your thoughts on some of the stats PFF put together here?