Chase Stuart

The St. Louis Rams Are Hosting A Horrible Contest

April 16, 2014 Statgeekery

In case you haven’t heard, the St. Louis Rams are running a contest to predict the team’s 2014 schedule. lThe prize is $100,000, which sounds nice until you realize that to win, you must accurately predict not only the opponent each week, but the location and the exact day of the game. Nobody is going to […]

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Ranking the Almost Dynasties, Part II

April 15, 2014 History

Andrew Healy is back with a sequel to his popular post. As always, we thank him for his generous contributions. Andrew Healy is an economics professor at Loyola Marymount University. He is a big fan of the New England Patriots and Joe Benigno. A couple of weeks ago, I went decade-by-decade since the 1970 AFL-NFL […]

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Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, and Andrew Luck are ESPN QBR Stars

April 14, 2014 Quarterbacks

A few weeks ago, I put ESPN’s Total QBR under the microscope. Today, I want to look at the quarterbacks whose passing statistics most differ from their QBR grades. Total QBR grades go back to 2006, so to start, I ran a regression using Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt to predict Total QBR. The best-fit […]

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Analyzing Position Values in the NFL

April 13, 2014 Draft

Every draft pick has a value, as seen in my draft value chart.  When the first overall pick is used on a quarterback, that means the quarterback position gets credited with 34.6 picks. If you assign a value to every pick in each of the last ten drafts, you can get a sense of the […]

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2014 Running Back Free Agent Market

April 12, 2014 Current Events

The free agent running back market has been as peculiar as it’s been quiet. There have been no big contracts doled out and only a few sizable ones of note, although some of the ensuing narrative about the demise of the running back position has been overblown. Today I want to look at the ten […]

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Owen Daniels and Gary Kubiak, Together Again

April 11, 2014 Current Events

A couple of years ago, I wrote this post about Josh McDaniels and Brandon Lloyd. Well, with Owen Daniels reuniting with Gary Kubiak in Baltimore — lest you forget, Kubiak is the Ravens new offensive coordinator with Jim Caldwell now head coach in Detroit — I thought it might be fun to look at previous […]

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Wide Receivers and Weighted Team Pass Attempts

April 10, 2014 Receiving

In his seven-year career, Calvin Johnson has already recorded 9,328 receiving yards. And for those curious about these sorts of things, he’s the career leader in receiving yards per game at 88.0, too. But Johnson has also benefited greatly from playing on teams that have thrown a weighted average of 635 pass attempts per season. […]

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Is there any hope in Oakland for Matt Schaub?

April 9, 2014 Quarterbacks

Is Matt Schaub washed up? Is he the next Jake Delhomme? For the first six seasons of his Texans career, Schaub was an above-average quarterback in both Net Yards per Attempt and Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt. But last year was disastrous in a way that his poor conventional stats fail to completely capture (for […]

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What Does Chris Johnson Have Left?

April 8, 2014 Statgeekery

After six seasons in Tennessee, Chris Johnson is now a free agent. The star running back has had an up-and-down career. The successes are easy to document: since 2008, only Adrian Peterson has more rushing yards, and Johnson has rushed for 1,299 more yards than the next closest back, Matt Forte. Johnson was just 32 […]

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Head Coach Retention Rates

April 7, 2014 Coaches

In the footnotes (always read the footnotes!) to one of Neil’s posts at 538, he included a fun chart displaying the likelihood that a baseball manager would be retained by his team X seasons from now. That made me wonder: what is the NFL head coach retention rate? And, as is often assumed by the […]

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A Passing League

April 6, 2014 History

In some ways, the premise of this post is geeky even for this site. And that’s saying something. There is a debate over the proper way to measure league average. For example, when we say the average completion percentage in the NFL is 61.2%, this is generally assumed to reflect the fact that in 2013, […]

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Interactive Trivia: Jerry Rice And [_______]

April 5, 2014 Trivia

If you play with enough filters of the “my dad can beat up your sister” variety, you can get some pretty counter-intuitive results. For example, Jerry Rice and DeSean Jackson are the only two players in NFL history to catch 350 passes, gain 6,000 receiving yards, and average 17.1 yards per reception through their first […]

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Matt Waldman Rookie Scouting Portfolio

April 4, 2014 Announcements

Every April 1st, friend-of-the-program Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) releases his Rookie Scouting Portfolio. The RSP is, well, insane. It’s a 251-page draft guide that not only provides rankings and analysis of 164 players, but also provides over 1,000 pages of scouting checklists and play-by-play notes. Matt does top-notch work year round, and I can confidently state […]

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Scoring Distribution Since 1940

April 3, 2014 History

We all know that scoring is on the rise. The 2013 season was the highest scoring season in NFL history, just narrowly edging out the … 1948, 1950, and 2012 seasons. Scoring soared in the aftermath of World War II, but quickly dropped off in the middle of the 1950s. Scoring fell to its nadir […]

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The Best Kickoff Returners in NFL History

April 2, 2014 History

Two weeks ago, I looked at the best punt returners in NFL history; today, a look at the top kickoff returners. Again, we begin with a graph of the league average yards per kickoff return from 1941 through 2013. The variation here has been relatively minor, falling in a 5-yard window from 18.9 yards per […]

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Ranking The Almost Dynasties

April 1, 2014 History

A couple of weeks ago, Andrew Healy contributed a guest post titled, “One Play Away.” He’s back at it today, and we thank him for another generous contribution. Andrew Healy is an economics professor at Loyola Marymount University. He is a big fan of the New England Patriots and Joe Benigno. What teams do we […]

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Is ESPN’s QBR the best measure of quarterback play?

March 31, 2014 Quarterbacks

One of the very first posts at Football Perspective measured how various passing stats were correlated with wins.  One of the main conclusions from that post was that passer rating, because of its heavy emphasis on completion percentage and interception rate, was not the ideal way to measure quarterback play. But what about ESPN’s Total […]

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The 2013 Cleveland Browns Had the Strangest Season

March 30, 2014 SRS

Okay, that title could be the opener to any number of jokes. But I mean “strange season” in the way Football Perspective has used the phrase before. Take a look at Cleveland’s schedule and results from 2013: Score Week Day Date Rec Opp Tm Opp 1 Sun September 8 boxscore L 0-1 Miami Dolphins 10 […]

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Predictions in Review: NFC North

March 29, 2014 Stat Recap

During the 2013 offseason, I wrote 32 articles under the RPO 2013 tag. In my Predictions in Review series, I review those preview articles with the benefit of hindsight. Previously, I reviewed the AFC West, the NFC West, the AFC South, the NFC South, and the AFC North. Today, the NFC North. The Detroit Lions […]

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Comparing 2014 Vegas Projections to Estimated Wins

March 28, 2014 Vegas

Three weeks ago, Vegas released the first set of 2014 win totals for all 32 teams. I immediately wondered how those win totals compare to the estimated wins I created based on 2013 DVOA ratings. I tweeted a request for someone to write such an article, and Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) was kind enough to oblige. […]

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2013 Fumble Recovery Data Has Jets, Cowboys at Extremes

March 27, 2014 Statistics

There are few statistics more random in all of sports than fumble recoveries. When a football is on the ground, it’s not the case that better teams are more likely to fall on the ball than bad teams: in the NFL, recovering fumbles is nearly all luck and little skill. This is a fact widely […]

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The Best 40-Yard Dash Times since 1999

March 26, 2014 Draft

A month ago, I looked Jadeveon Clowney’s impressive time in the 40-yard dash. In that post, I argued that all 40-yard times must be adjusted for weight. Well, thanks to the good folks at NFLSavant.com, 40-yard dash times are available for many players going back to 1999. Which made me wonder: which players have posted […]

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How will DeSean Jackson age?

March 25, 2014 History

If you believe the rumors, the Eagles are desperately trying to trade wide receiver DeSean Jackson; absent an eligible suitor, and Philadelphia may even cut the three-time Pro Bowler. This is a pretty weird situation; what’s even weirder is how few tangible reasons have been given as to why the Eagles desire to remove him […]

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Expected Quarterbacks Wins Based On Passing Efficiency

March 24, 2014 Quarterbacks

On Friday, the Jets released Mark Sanchez. I don’t have much in the way of a post mortem, but it felt odd not to have at least some post on the subject. And despite watching every Sanchez start for four years, it still takes me by surprise when I see that his career record is […]

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Which Quarterbacks Produced Peak Years For Their Receivers?

March 23, 2014 History

Some quarterbacks and wide receivers just go together. Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison. Dan Marino and Mark Clayton and Mark Duper. Joe Namath and Don Maynard. John Hadl and Lance Alworth. But quarterbacks play with lots of receivers, and receivers generally play with several quarterbacks. We don’t remember most combinations, but that doesn’t mean they […]

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What do Schaub and Fitzpatrick mean for Bortles, Manziel, and Bridgewater?

March 22, 2014 Current Events

The Texans and Raiders recently made a couple of veteran quarterback acquisitions. The team with the first overall pick in May’s draft signed Ryan Fitzpatrick and then traded Matt Schaub to Oakland, owners of the fifth overall selection. Will either team now be deterred from spending a top five pick on Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, […]

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Meaningless receiving yards

March 21, 2014 Receiving

Which player led the league in meaningless receiving yards last year? Wait, what are meaningless receiving yards? I am defining a meaningless receiving yard as one where: On third or fourth down, a player gained fewer yards than necessary for the first down. The receiving yard(s) came in a loss and when the player’s team […]

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A closer look at running back aging patterns Part II

March 20, 2014 Fantasy

Two years ago, I wrote this post on running back aging curves. One conclusion from my research was that age 26 was the peak age for running backs, which was immediately followed by a steady decline phase until retirement. In that study, I only wanted to look at very good-to-excellent running backs in the modern […]

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Checkdowns: Judging QBs By Their Top 5 Seasons

March 19, 2014 Quarterbacks

While working on a different post, I needed to derive a quick-and-dirty formula to identify the top 100 or so quarterbacks in NFL history. Here is how I went about doing that: 1) Calculate the Relative ANY/A of each quarterback in every season since 1950. ANY/A, of course, is Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt, defined […]

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Reminder: Neil Paine now at FiveThirtyEight

March 18, 2014 Announcements

In December, I let you know that Nate Silver’s new FiveThirtyEight had made the smart decision to hire Neil Paine.  On Monday, the website opened its doors, so I wanted to make sure my readers were aware that Neil is (thankfully) back in the writing game.  You can read all of Neil’s posts here. Of […]

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