Stat Pack: Cutler handling heat better

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Pro Football Focus uses a complex system to analyze every NFL player involved in every snap in every game and assigns a grade based on how he performed on that play, with each position having its own set of grading guidelines. Plus/minus scores are given in 0.5 increments and a small normalization factor is applied to make 0.0 the average grade for a game or season. To learn more, visit

The book on Jay Cutler always has been that you can rattle him with pressure and force mistakes. But in his first season under new coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase, that hasn’t been the case.

Cutler’s performance when pressured this season exceeds the NFL average. Cutler has been pressured on 40 percent of his drop-backs (the league average is 35 percent) and has a passer rating on those plays of 90.1 (the league average is 72.3). In 132 drop-backs when pressured, Cutler has thrown for five touchdowns with only one interception. He also has been good at avoiding the rush, being sacked only 14 times. His sack percentage when pressured of 10.6 percent is third-best in the league, trailing only Ryan Fitzpatrick (8.5 percent) and Carson Palmer (10.5 percent).

By comparison, the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers has been pressured on 35 percent of his drop-backs (the league average) and has only a slightly better passer rating on those plays (91.8). In 139 drop-backs when pressured, Rodgers has thrown for nine touchdowns with one interception. Given his propensity to run, Rodgers has taken more sacks (24) than Cutler, giving him a sack percentage of 17.3 percent that ranks in the middle of the NFL pack.

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