Cleveland Browns quarterback Cody Kessler performed well when under pressure last season, but the statistic may be a bit misleading without a deeper look.
There is a contingent of Cleveland Browns fans who want to see Cody Kessler receive the starting job in 2017, and certain statistics help support their claim. A recent tweet by Pro Football Focus featured another impressive stat.
The presentation of that tweet is certainly interesting. Putting Kessler second behind Tom Brady in any ranking may have some fans confused, but the tweet doesn’t explain the whole story.
Kessler only had 195 pass attempts in 2016, compared to 432 had by Brady in just 12 games. Kessler appeared in only nine games, leaving three early and only playing at the end of the Week 16 victory over the then San Diego Chargers.
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This is not to discredit how well Kessler did while under pressure, but the tweet doesn’t explain to fans around the NFL that Kessler appeared in just over half his team’s games. And as for being under pressure, Browns quarterbacks were seemingly under pressure every time they dropped back in 2016.
Advanced analytics aside, Browns fans know Kessler is a solid player because of the fact he was able to play solid football without much help from his offensive line.
However, he was never able to lead his team to a victory when he started, which his detractors point to as a reason why he may not be the guy.
Kessler has not played enough for fans to already have a strong opinion against him, but stats like the one presented by Pro Football Focus in that tweet build up his case without much context to the stat itself.
While seeing Kessler’s name right behind Tom Brady may have fans excited about how well he did under pressure, it’s not like Kessler was leading game-winning drives every game. He deserves a chance to prove himself in 2017, but his performance under pressure in 2016 isn’t a definitive measure of him being a clutch quarterback in the NFL. At least not yet.