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HomeNFLNFL's five most overperforming/underperforming units of 2022 season: Geno Smith, Seahawks soared

NFL’s five most overperforming/underperforming units of 2022 season: Geno Smith, Seahawks soared

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This one’s a bit of a cheat, since one player does not a unit make, but I wanted to highlight just how much Trevor Lawrence outperformed his preseason projection, especially down the stretch. From Week 9 to Week 18, the second-year pro ranked ninth in the NFL in win share, throwing just two interceptions. That span also included a five-game season-ending win streak that catapulted Jacksonville to its fourth division title in franchise history, completing a turnaround from a 2-6 start. And while the playoffs did not factor into these rankings, I have to highlight the Jaguars’ win over the Chargers in the Wild Card Round, which was a pretty accurate encapsulation of their season, featuring four first-half interceptions, then four touchdowns in the final five possessions of the third-largest comeback in NFL postseason history. 

One of the areas where coach Doug Pederson really helped his QB was with the creative use of play-action, especially when it came to overcoming the limitations of an offensive line that fell to 25th in win-share ranking after the loss of left tackle Cam Robinson to injury in Week 15. Per Next Gen Stats, from Week 9 to Week 18, Lawrence was sacked on 8.3 percent of dropbacks when using play-action (six sacks on 72 dropbacks, with a 23.6 percent pressure rate), but he managed to avoid turnovers while posting the eighth-highest completion percentage (68.2) over that span on such passes. I think terms like “quarterback whisperer” are wildly overused, but it’s not a stretch to apply that label to Pederson. Jags fans should be really excited for 2023.

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