Clutch Quarterbacks

July 24th, 2023

How clutch is he?

You wanna see a statgeek squirm?

Ask a statgeek about “clutch” players. They start rocking in their chairs and rapping their knuckles together. They might even start mumbling gibberish. “Clutch” drives them nuts.

Statgeeks think everything and anything can be predicted or determined by numbers. If you can’t slap a GD number on it, they freak out and immediately dismiss the subject as nonsense, fairy tales and voodoo.

Clutch is a real thing because we are humans, not robot dogs programmed by GIGO.

Warren Sharp is a stathead. The handicapper is also a wise man. He understands some guys truly rise to the occasion for reasons unknown and ball out when the pressure is on. So Sharp used a bunch of stats to determine his best clutch quarterbacks, or how these guys played in the final five minutes of games. You can see his list below.

It likely won’t shock one Bucs fan that Tom Brady was dynamite when the chips were down. Since 2019, Brady, in Sharp’s calculations, was the fifth-best quarterback in the league in clutch time.

So where is Baker Mayfield on this list? He’s 27th, directly above Mr. Entertainment, America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston.

To win games, you have to be clutch, especially the way Bucs coach Todd Bowles likes to play offense. Always remember and never forget, when you keep games close, you also keep your opponent in the game.

So Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales must work on Mayfield’s late-game skills if the Bucs hope to be playing meaningful games come January.

@SharpFootball: Most clutch QBs with game on the line: trailing in the last 5 mins since 2019.

1. Joe Burrow
2. Patrick Mahomes
3. Lamar Jackson
4. Ryan Fitzpatrick
5. Tom Brady
6. Geno Smith
7. Kyle Allen
8. Dak Prescott
9. Nick Foles
10. Justin Herbert
11. Kirk Cousins
12. Mitchell Trubisky
13. Ryan Tannehill
14. Joe Flacco
15. Taylor Heinicke
16. Derek Carr
17. Matthew Stafford
18. Jimmy Garoppolo
19. Josh Allen
20. Carson Wentz
21. Andy Dalton
22. Russell Wilson
23. Matt Ryan
24. Jared Goff
25. Aaron Rodgers
26. Ben Roethlisberger
27. Baker Mayfield
28. Jameis Winston
29. Zach Wilson
30. Deshaun Watson
31. Drew Lock
32. Jacoby Brissett
33. Mac Jones
34. Trevor Lawrence
35. Philip Rivers
36. Davis Mills
37. Cam Newton
38. Kyler Murray
39. Teddy Bridgewater
40. Jalen Hurts
41. Daniel Jones
42. Gardner Minshew
43. Justin Fields
44. Sam Darnold (ranked based upon EPA/dropback, min 70 dropbacks)

20 Responses to “Clutch Quarterbacks”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Very impressive endeavor on the part of Warren Sharp. Several surprises in the Top-10 (Fitz, Smith, Allen, Foles) but I’m sure that Sharp can back that up.

    Mayfield & Winston are really no surprises (#27 & #28), but Rodgers (#25), Lawrence (#34) and Hurts (#40) are. In the latter’s case, I guess it demonstrates that a team doesn’t need a franchise QB to make it to the Super Bowl? Probably helps though.

  2. Lt. Dan Says:

    Very subjective list due to very subjective skills, desire, teammates, play calling, coaches (playing not to loose)…looking at you Bowles etc., etc. Lets see what Mayfield can do with talented receivers, probably a better than average O line and hopefully a play caller that has a clue (looking at you Leftwich).

  3. nick houllis Says:

    DEFENSE RULES; I think the lesson here is great teams don’t need their QB to be clutch. The Eagles for the most part were ahead 20-6 going into the 4th or more. if anything the eagles are clutch makers.

  4. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    I believe one of the criteria was TRAILING in the last 5 minutes….

  5. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I agree about Joe Burrow being clutch!
    He has beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium so much they named the stadium “Burrowhead Stadium”.
    I see Geno Smith is highly ranked in this list.

  6. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Man he really should have isolated the statistic to “Trailing by 1 score in the last 5 minutes” or 8 or less points.

    So many of these guys were putting up stats in blow out games.

    i.e. Kyle Allen being being one of the top “clutch QBs” during a 5-11 season.

    Looking at that season for example, there was a game vs Seattle in which they were down 30-10 with 7 minutes left and they scored 2 TD’s in the last 5 minutes.

    That shouldn’t qualify but 2 TD’s in 5 minutes = massive clutch points the way he did this analysis.

  7. HC Grover Says:

    Bowles game planning leads to the Bucs trailing going to 4th QTR.

  8. Since76 Says:

    With Baker at QB we will never need him to be clutch.
    A—The game will be already won.
    B—The BUCS will be too far behind.
    And the answer is…………..

  9. Buc4evr Says:

    Baker is going to be a disaster in the red zone and when it comes to winning in the last 5 minutes, he will either throw interceptions or just get sacked. He is horrible like Jameis.

  10. alphabetsend Says:

    As someone whose watched every game of Mayfield’s pro career, I can say many of the near comebacks were blown by the defense or other players.

    QBs that play on bad teams are more likely going to need to comeback…alot, because their defense blows leads. As a former CLEs fan, you can sure say that team excels in blowing leads–historic leads in some cases. At Carolina, ironically, the Panthers D blew Mayfields comeback…to CLE.

    Mayfield is probably best in the 2-min drill, when the poor OCs he’s played for get out of the way.

    Also @Buc4ever, if I recall correctly, Mayfield has never thrown a redzone interception… he has however taken quite a few sacks, but if you break it down by drive and watch all-22, you can see where the fault lies when linemen blow assignments and receivers aren’t open. Mayfield could learn to throw the ball away more, though–but that doesn’t help in a late-game comeback..

  11. ChiBuc Says:

    The fact that Trubisky ranked 12th clearly indicates how stupid that stat is. Why? Sorry teams are more likely to have more come from behind opportunities. How is that an indicator of a “clutch” qb?

  12. Fred McNeil Says:

    Last year, even with Bradys decline, he gave us a few cone-from- behind victories. The Rams and Carolina games come to mind immediately. We should have let Brady win the Browns game at the end of regulation.

  13. hog snapper Says:

    “Clutch Quarterbacks” next to a photo of Baker LMAO

  14. Dooley Says:

    Imagine calling a game where your defense holds a team to 13 points in 4 quarters and you still got to “comeback” to win

  15. Rod Munch Says:

    I love stats, I want more stats, I don’t think this is a very useful stat.

    If you’re trailing in the last 5 minutes, march your team down the field and get a score that puts you up by 2 with less than a minute to go, and your defense collapses and gives up 60 yards on 3 plays and the other team kicks a FG to win, that doesn’t mean you’re not clutch.

  16. hog snapper Says:

    So, to be a “clutch quarterback” one has to score less than the opposing team for the first 55 minutes of the game.

  17. shankasorous Says:

    27. Baker Mayfield
    28. Jameis Winston

    We signed a smaller version of Jameis.

  18. Rod Munch Says:

    hog snapper Says:
    July 24th, 2023 at 3:22 pm
    So, to be a “clutch quarterback” one has to score less than the opposing team for the first 55 minutes of the game.


    Also if you take your team down the field and score with 45 seconds left in the game, only to see your defense collapse, that also means you’re not clutch. Or, lets say for example, in the last min of a game you move the ball downfield, and instead of scoring the coach tells you to take a knee to run the clock to 1 sec, then takes a penalty to make the kick longer because the kicker likes longer kicks, and then the kicker misses it – that also means you’re not clutch.

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Mayfield should be much lower in the ranking.

  20. garro Says:

    Agreed Joe.

    Maybefield just has not had the accuracy of Brady when the ball has to go downfield to a WR in traffic for the clutch first down.

    If we play from behind with him we are headed for trouble.

    Go Bucs!