You're probably not going to believe this, but the Philadelphia Eagles dropped A LOT of passes during the 2015 season. I might even be underselling it when I mean "a lot." According to Pro Football Focus, Sam Bradford had to deal with the highest percentage of drops. 7.9% of his passes (42 out of 532) were dropped, which was the most of any NFL quarterback.
With no disrespect to PFF, I think that drop figure might actually be low. I watched all of Bradford's drops in 2015 thanks to the video below and came up with a total of 58.
So what would Bradford's numbers look like if his pass catchers were perfect and NEVER dropped a pass? Obviously this isn't realistic, because drops are always part of the game, but just for fun:
Notes and observations
• Full disclosure: I don't consider myself to be pro-Bradford nor anti-Bradford. I'm firmly on the fence. This activity isn't a defense of Bradford as much as it is I was genuinely curious to see how much drops impacted his performance.
• How do Bradford's dropless numbers compare to other quarterbacks if we took all of their drops away? I wish I had the time to watch every snap of every quarterback this year to find the answer, but unfortunately I do not.
• Drops are subjective. Sometimes the ball placement is poor.
• I only accounted for air yards in this projection. I didn't account for YAC. There were several times where players were wide open and could have gained more.
• This table does not account for dropped interceptions. Just like dropped passes, all quarterbacks deal with those as well.
• The average amount of drops a starting quarterback (min. 50% snaps) had to deal with in 2015 is 30.
• Bradford also dealt with a lot of drops in St. Louis. Is that because all the wide receivers were also bad or does the blame lie on him? Or both?
• Bradford ranks fourth overall in PFF's "Quarterback Accuracy Percentage", which accounts for "accounts for dropped passes, throw aways, spiked balls, batted passes, and passes where the quarterback was hit while they threw the ball." His 78.1% figure in this category only ranks behind Teddy Bridgewater, Kirk Cousins, and Russell Wilson.
• 11 dropped passes were 20+ yards. Two dropped passes were 40+. Bradford completed the 20th most 20+ yards and 4th most 40+ yards this year.
• 24 passes were dropped on third down. Without even accounting for YAC and the possibility of missed tackles, at least 14 of those would have been first downs.
• No matter how you feel about Bradford, there's no denying the Eagles need human beings who are better at catching footballs.