Where Quarterbacks Throw
Hail-Mary passes that end up dozens of yards downfield may get all the press, but a new data visualization from online sports magazine Grantland shows that these passes are in the extreme minority. The visualization, based on an extensive database of NFL passing data, shows how often quarterbacks pass to each region on the field, as well as how frequently passes to each area are actually caught. Variations also show which quarterbacks have the most completions in a given region, as well as the raw data of individual pass locations; as expected, many of the league’s superstar quarterbacks are represented, having staked out a particular territory for their throws.
Football data visualizations and analytics have become increasingly common following the adoption of “big data” technologies for large-scale data analysis; the sport’s quantification had long been delayed due to its relatively complex, multivariate nature.