The deep pass is one of the best things about football.
There’s just something about watching quarterbacks chuck the ball 40 yards downfield that makes seeing it on TV aesthetically pleasing, and we’re in an era of football where it seems like the art of the deep pass is enjoying a revival.
As such, I’ve spent six years charting these deep passes in a series of charts and articles called The Deep Ball Project, where I look at the accuracy of passes thrown 21+ air yards beyond the line of scrimmage, regardless if they’re caught or not.
Normally, Cam Newton would be making an appearance on these lists, but since he only played two games on the season, that means Kyle Allen represents the Panthers on this year’s Deep Ball Project. Let’s just say his results were…..not good. For more on that, let’s take a look at the below chart of all 32 quarterbacks surveyed for the 2019-20 Deep Ball Project, ranked by Accuracy Percentage (Note: NOT Completion Percentage.)
As you can see, Allen ranked dead last in Deep Accuracy Percentage with an Accuracy Percentage of 31.71% while throwing for 371 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, 317 air yards, and 54 yards after the catch. Suffice to say, having that low of an Accuracy Percentage was a major inconvenience for the Panthers’ receiving corps in 2019.
Having an expectation for him to be a league average passer, let alone a league average deep passer, says a lot about how far he’s come as an NFL quarterback. Going from an undrafted backup straight into a starting role after Newton’s injury and then helping guide Carolina to four straight wins is something he should always feel proud of – unfortunately that kind of success just wasn’t meant to last long, and as the Panthers ended the year on an eight-game losing streak, Allen’s misses were further put into the spotlight.
So to take a further look inside Allen’s deep passing stats, let’s take a look at the below chart, comprised of his individual deep passing stats and where his accuracy ranked out of 32 starting quarterbacks (shown in the black tiles in parentheses).
As we know, Allen’s overall accuracy ranked 32nd out of 32 quarterbacks. And as we can see above, close inspection only raises the level of concern as to whether he should be back in a Panthers uniform next season.
For one thing, Allen was the least accurate deep passer throwing into open windows – only managing to be accurate on 33.33% of his throws. For reference, the other 31 quarterbacks at least managed to be accurate on 45% of their throws to open receivers.
It’s every bit as bad as it sounds.
Allen also finished last in accuracy on throws to the middle of the field, on throws of 36-40 yards (tying five other quarterbacks, hence the #27 ranking), and against edge pressure (tying with four other quarterbacks). One silver lining is that Allen fared nicely in the 21-25 yard range, tying with Sam Darnold as the seventh most accurate passer on those throws.
Still, it’s apparent that the Panthers had a deep passing problem in 2019 – as it normally is in these scenarios, the quarterback was the main culprit. For another close look, let’s survey the tape to see what evidence we can find.
Last season, I wrote about how these missed throws were costing Curtis Samuel a lot of receiving yards and touchdowns, so this time each clip comes from a deep pass attempt to D.J. Moore.
Up Next: Allen To Moore, Incomplete, Repeat