When it came to the money downs in 2019, Rams quarterback Jared Goff made the most big-time throws with 17, per scouting service Pro Football Focus (PFF).
So, what exactly is a big-time throw?
According to a January 2018 article published by PFF lead NFL analyst Sam Monson and senior analyst Steve Palazzolo, it "is best described as a pass with excellent ball location and timing, generally thrown further down the field and/or into a tighter window." Pertaining to PFF's grading scale, a big-time throw is "on the highest end of both difficulty and value."
That same article says examples of big-time throws include: Creating a big-play opportunity by placing the ball at an optimum for a receiver who can only create a small window of separation, or, in situations under heavy pressure, turning a negative play into a positive one, a tight-window redzone pass or a 50-yard deep ball downfield with good ball location.
Per PFF, here a few of Goff's pass attempts that qualified as big-time throws last season:
- Week 13 at Cardinals: With 1:28 left in the second quarter, Goff finds wide receiver Cooper Kupp over the middle, his timing and ball placement allowing Kupp to pick up 11 of those 27 yards after the catch.
- Week 14 vs. Seahawks: With 5:36 left in the first quarter, Goff hits tight end Tyler Higbee in stride for a 33-yard gain down along the Seattle sideline.
- Week 16 at 49ers: With 6:13 left in the third quarter and San Francisco defensive tackle DeForest Buckner pressuring him, Goff connects with wide receiver Robert Woods for a 23-yard completion near the L.A sideline despite Woods being closely defended by cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon.
Behind an offensive line that finished the season allowing a league-low 22 sacks last season, it's possible for Goff to lead all NFL quarterbacks in big-time throws again in 2020.