We already know Wilson had a great season in his rookie year. Not just great for a rookie, but great, period. Here are the final Pro Football Focus QB ratings for 2012, for the top 16 QBs. (I.E., the half that matters.)
Wilson's tied for 5th with Matt Ryan. His 39.4 is a very impressive number. When you consider that he's a rookie, it's mind-blowingly good. As you can see, there's also a very steep drop-off once you get past #9, RG3. Wilson had a historically great rookie campaign. This, we all know. It's not news.
What I really want to discuss is how he handles pressure. We all know he's a great scrambler, but there's more to a QB than scrambling when there's pressure. Passing under pressure is a huge part of every QB's game. The graph for this is even more impressive. Here are the Pro Football Focus QB ratings specifically for plays where the QB was under pressure. Not just blitzes, but any pressure regardless of whether it was the O-line's fault or not. I went with the top 18 here so as to include Brady and Hasselbeck. (I had to compile it myself in Excel.)
Wow. Just...Wow. He ranked 3rd, and 4th on the list is a steep drop-off. I thought initially that his rushing stats were bumping it up; but nope, because Roethlisberger topped the list and when I looked up his 2012 rushing stats, I lol'd. The ranking looks to be pure passer stuff. Now, some very elite passing quarterbacks have negative ratings on here. Remember, this is only the PFF total passer rating for plays where they were under pressure; which means that throwing the ball away is an important part of this number. I don't know if PFF gives this a flat (0) number, or if throwing the ball away is a positive or negative one, since I can see arguments for and against it.
Throwing the ball away could be positive, since it's not a sack or turnover; but if it was, I imagine Peyton's number would be quite a bit higher. It could be neutral, since it's really neither a positive or a negative. Much better chance that it's neutral. It could be a negative grade, though, since no positive play happened; you lost a down with nothing to show for it. I think this is by far the most likely way they calculate it, but it's probably not a big penalty. It makes sense; while throwing the ball away isn't really a bad thing, (million times better than a sack, or a bad-throw-turned-interception, or a forced fumble) it doesn't get you anywhere, either. Good QBs throw the ball away before any of the aforementioned bad things can happen, but guys like Peyton and Brady have a tendency to sometimes throw the ball away too early. PFF might even penalize them if they throw it away when a receiver was clearly open; I don't know, that's just speculation.
The PFF under pressure ratings are definitely not ratings you should just use as your one big piece of ammo about how good a QB is, but they're very important. I was surprised Rapistberger topped this list. Apparently he really stepped up this year when under pressure, because his average under pressure rating for the past 5 years is a negative value, including his great 2012 year with this particular stat. Peyton had positive numbers (though never a double-digit one) for this stat every one of the prior 5 years that he played in, so I'm chalking his negative value up to being on a new team, still recovering from injury a bit, etc. Brady, on the other hand, had a negative value for each of the past 4 years. (5 years back is season he missed from the ACL tear.) Brees was negative 4 of the past 5 years, but had a good positive rating last year.
So, will Wilson's great PFF under pressure rating be a fluke, like Rapistberger's was this year; or will he have a positive rating every year? I'm leaning towards the latter. Remember, running is irrelevant for this stat.
I can't wait to find out. The 2013 NFL season cannot come quickly enough.
Also, lol @ Kaepernuts. 14th overall, 9th under pressure. Not bad, don't get me wrong, but not like Wilson. You lurking 49ers fans can point to the NFL passer rating and ESPN QBR stats all you want, but they are both stats with a whole host of problems. (I do believe QBR will get better over time, though; but until that is demonstrably proven, it remains a "meh" stat.) We also need more data on both Wilson and Kaepernick to have a better long-term picture, which is also why I eagerly await this next season. Once 2013's over, we'll be able to evaluate them a lot
more accurately. Also, everyone should keep in mind that no stat covers everything, though recent advances in "deep" stats, particularly Football Outsiders's DVOA stat, are making some of these key stats way more accurate and valuable than traditional stats have ever been before.
(p.s., Dom; don't stroke out on me, I know you have a serious hate-on for stats.)