February 2013

The origin of the name ‘Redskins’

February 28, 2013 History

The debate concerning whether the Washington Redskins should change its name has resurfaced in recent weeks. I have my opinion as to whether a name change is appropriate, but nobody cares to read that. Instead, I’d like to recount the history behind the name. The nickname ‘Redskins’ predates the team playing football in Washington. The […]

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College Football: The Best Passing Quarterbacks since 2005

February 27, 2013 College

Yesterday, I ranked every quarterback in college football last season. Today, I’ll do the same for every quarterback since 2005. If you read yesterday’s article, you can skip the next three paragraphs, which explain the system I used. I start by calculating each quarterback’s Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt, done by starting with passing yards […]

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College Football: The Best Passing Quarterbacks from 2012

February 26, 2013 College

A few weeks ago, I discovered cfbstats.com, which has made available for download an incredible amount of college football statistics from the last eight seasons. Thanks to them, I plan to apply some of the same techniques I’ve used on NFL numbers over the years to college statistics. If you’re a fan of college football, […]

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Projecting Trent Richardson and Alfred Morris, a year later

February 25, 2013 Rookies

In the pre-season, I wrote three pieces on Cleveland Browns rookie Trent Richardson.  As part of a thought experiment, I wondered who would lead the NFL in rushing yards from 2012 to 2021? I narrowed my finalists to LeSean McCoy, Beanie Wells (was I drunk?), DeMarco Murray (ouch), Richardson and the rest of the rookies, […]

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Trivia of the Day – Sunday, February 24th

February 24, 2013 Trivia

Eight teams in NFL history have rostered five players who — at some point in their career — gained at least 1,000 receiving yards in a season. The most recent three teams were the 2003-2005 Rams, who had Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Marshall Faulk, Kevin Curtis, and Mike Furrey. Furrey wouldn’t record 1,000 yards until […]

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Trivia of the Day – Saturday, February 23rd

February 23, 2013 Trivia

Last year, Stanford’s David DeCastro was considered one of the safest picks in the draft. But despite being a dominant player that nearly every scout loved, because he was a guard, DeCastro fell to the Steelers with the 24th pick. This year, Alabama guard Chance Warmack projects to be an even better player, and some […]

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All your NFL draft needs

February 22, 2013 Checkdowns

All your NFL draft needs will not by satisfied by Football Perspective. I’ll be writing some meta draft articles, discussing draft pick value, historical expectations, and the like, but I won’t delve too deeply into the current crop of prospects for the 2013 draft. Fortunately, there are many excellent resources out there. I asked Sigmund […]

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Comparing rookie quarterbacks to their team’s prior year’s stats

February 21, 2013 Passing

Since 1990, there have been 48 rookie quarterbacks that threw at least 224 pass attempts, the necessary amount to qualify for the league’s efficiency ratings. There are many conventional ways to measure rookie quarterbacks, but the off-season lets us play around with more obscure measures. For example, have you ever considered how rookie quarterbacks performed […]

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The Greatest Wide Receivers Ever Version 2.0: Part III – Career Rankings

February 20, 2013 G.O.A.T.

On Monday, I explained my methodology for ranking every wide receiver in football history, and yesterday, I presented a list of the best single seasons of all time. Today the career list of the top 150 wide receivers. As usual, I implemented a 100/95/90 formula, giving a player credit for 100% of his production in […]

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The Greatest Wide Receivers Ever Version 2.0: Part II – Single season leaders

February 19, 2013 G.O.A.T.

Yesterday, I explained my methodology for ranking every wide receiver in football history. Today I’m going to present a list of single-season leaders, which presents some problems. I think the method I described yesterday does a good job adjusting for era, as receivers are only given credit for their yards above the baseline, which is […]

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The Greatest Wide Receivers Ever Version 2.0: Part I – Methodology

February 18, 2013 G.O.A.T.

Regular readers know that one of my projects this off-season is to come up with a better way to grade wide receivers. I first attempted to rank every wide receiver four years ago. That study, which I will reproduce this week, has some positives and negatives. My goal is to eventually come up with four […]

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Trivia of the Day – Sunday, February 17th

February 17, 2013 Passing

We all know that Tom Brady set the single-season passing touchdowns record in 2007, when he threw 50 touchdowns as the New England Patriots went 16-0. That broke Peyton Manning‘s mark of 49 touchdowns in 2004. And I think most of us know that prior to Manning, Dan Marino had set the NFL record with […]

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Trivia of the Day – Saturday, February 16th

February 16, 2013 Trivia

It’s hard not to be amazed by the seasons that Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson had as first-year starters in 2012. It’s playing around with the cut-offs to an absurd degree, but prior to 2012, only six men in NFL history had ever: Averaged 7.9 yards per attempt on at least 200 […]

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The predictive value of target data, part II

February 15, 2013 Fantasy

On Monday, I argued that target data has some predictive value. I wanted to update that post with a few observations. Wide Receiver Targets In the original post, I looked at year-to-year data for all players with at least 500 receiving yards in Year N and at least 8 games played for the same team […]

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Happy Valentine’s Day to The Quarterback in Your Life

February 14, 2013 Passing

There have been 35 quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for at least 30,000 yards. Given enough time, you could probably guess that Drew Bledsoe, Jim Kelly, and Steve McNair are three of them. All three have something else in common: they were all born on February 14th. If we drop the cut-off to 16,000 […]

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The History of Black Quarterbacks in the NFL

February 13, 2013 History

Five years ago, I wrote a five part series detailing the history of the black quarterback. With February being Black History Month and Super Bowl XLVII marking the 25th anniversary of Doug Williams becoming the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl, I figured it was worth another trip down memory lane. The history […]

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Analyzing the leaders in targets in 2012

February 12, 2013 Receiving

Reggie Wayne led the NFL in targets last year, but that’s a little misleading since the Colts ranked 6th in pass attempts. As a percentage of team targets, Wayne ranked second in the league, but he was a distant number two to Brandon Marshall, who saw two out of every five Bears passes in 2013. […]

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The predictive value of target data

February 11, 2013 Passing

In 2007, Doug Drinen and I wrote a pair of articles discussing our views on targets. I’m working on a wide receiver project this off-season, and a complete discussion of receiving statistics includes a discussion of targets. Let me start with the prevailing few: targets are important, and if two receivers have the same production […]

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Trivia: Single-season Leaders in Yards per Target

February 10, 2013 Checkdowns

San Diego’s Danario Alexander caught 37 passes for 658 yards and 7 touchdowns in 10 games last year. Those might not look like great numbers, but when Philip Rivers looked his way, Alexander tended to produce. Alexander only saw 62 targets last season, but led the league with a 10.6 yards-per-target average (minimum 50 targets). […]

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Manhattan Bar Trivia, Football Edition

February 9, 2013 Trivia

In an effort to prove that bloggers actually go to bars and to reassure you that you know more about football than your average bar patron… I was at a bar the other night when it was revealed that it was Trivia Night. Once I heard that the first category was NFL, I decided to […]

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Does pre-season strength of schedule matter?

February 8, 2013 SRS

NFL.com posted an article yesterday looking at the strength of schedule for each team in 2013. We have known each team’s opponents since the end of the regular season, and while the full schedule won’t come out until April, it’s simple to calculate a team’s strength of schedule for 2013. Usually, the media reports this […]

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NFL Retired Numbers, Player Deaths, and the Stories Behind Them

February 7, 2013 History

The table below lists every retired number for each of the 32 franchises. It also lists each player’s career AV (starting in 1950), position(s), and years with the team. Each column is sortable, and you can use the search box to search by team (or uniform number, or position, or anything else); you can also […]

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Which team had a better passing offense in 2012: Houston or Detroit?

February 6, 2013 Receiving

The off-season is here. But Football Perspective isn’t going anywhere. I prefer off-season writing to in-season writing, as football theory and history is more compelling to me than figuring out whether to rank the Lions ahead of the Bills. At the old Pro-Football-Reference Blog, we did some of our best work in the off-season, and […]

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Courtney Upshaw wins back-to-back championships with Alabama and Baltimore

February 5, 2013 College

Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun pointed out an interesting bit of trivia today: Courtney Upshaw has now won back-to-back titles in college and the NFL. Back in October 2009, the Minnesota Vikings were 5-0, and new additions Brett Favre and rookie Percy Harvin were a big part of their success. Harvin had won the […]

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John Harbaugh outcoaches Jim Harbaugh, wins Super Bowl

February 5, 2013 Coaches

“He’s the best coach in football right now.” That was what John Harbaugh said about his little brother after the game. It’s hard to argue: I’ve said a few times that I think Jim Harbaugh is the best coach in the league, too. (Although I gave my mythical COTY vote to Pete Carroll.) It was […]

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Are the Super Bowl-Winning QBs Getting Worse?

February 4, 2013 History

Now that we live in a world where Joe Flacco and Eli Manning have quarterbacked 3 of the last 6 Super Bowl-winning teams, you might be tempted to think that winning a Super Bowl as a QB doesn’t mean what it used to. After all, the playoffs are getting more random — as Aaron Schatz […]

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Losing in the title game: the Harbaugh 49ers and the Lombardi Packers

February 4, 2013 Coaches

Congratulations to Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Joe Flacco, and the Baltimore Ravens on winning Super Bowl XLVII. The Ravens and 49ers treated us to an exciting Super Bowl, and the Hall of Fame chances of Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Matt Birk, Anquan Boldin, and yes, Joe Flacco, are a lot better today than they were […]

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Super Bowl XLVII Preview

February 3, 2013 Current Events

Before we get to my preview, I feel the need to point you to some excellent Super Bowl previews I saw this week: Bill Barnwell at Grantland with his excellent Super Bowl preview Chris Brown on the Ravens defense against the 49ers offense and the Ravens offense against the 49ers defense, both also at Grantland […]

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2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class

February 2, 2013 HOF

The process took over eight hours this year, and according to Rick Gosselin, over one hour was spent on Bill Parcells alone. Another HOF voter, Tony Grossi, said that Parcells took 55 minutes and Art Modell was discussed for over a half hour, while Cris Carter and Jerome Bettis were the two most heavily-debated players. […]

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Trivia: Leading rusher in two different Super Bowls

February 2, 2013 Rushing

A week before the Super Bowl, I asked if you could name the seven wide receivers to start for two different teams that reached the Super Bowl. In the comments to that post, JWL alerted me to a pretty cool piece of Super bowl trivia. Eight different men have been the leading rusher in multiple […]

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