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Would you believe this guy is good at catching footballs?

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is having a fine year. While his 69 receptions is tied for only 24th in this era where catching passes is easier than ever, he’s averaging an impressive 16.9 yards per reception. No player with more than 50 receptions has a higher yards per catch average, which is why Hopkins ranks 9th in receiving yards despite ranking 24th in receptions.

But 9th is still just 9th, which is a long cry from 1st. But consider that the Texans are just 31st in pass attempts this year: in that light, ranking 9th looks a lot more impressive. And then consider the state of the Houston quarterback play. The Texans actually rank above average in yards per attempt, but there’s a reason that statistic is misleading: that reason is DeAndre Hopkins.

Houston passers (Ryan Fitzpatrick, mostly, with some Ryan Mallett and Tom Savage cameos) are averaging 7.4 yards per attempt, but that is the result of a 10.7 Y/A average on passes to Hopkins and 6.2 yards per attempt on all other passes.

So start with a player who ranks 9th in receiving yards, adjust for the fact that he’s on the team with the second fewest passes in football, and then consider that his quarterbacks are terrible on passes to everyone else on his team. That’s how you end up with Hopkins being responsible for a league-high 38.6 percent of his team’s receiving yards. [click to continue…]

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The Worst Matchups in NFL History

Johnson returns to Nashville

Johnson returns to Nashville

The Jets and the Titans play tomorrow, in a matchup of 2-11 teams that ranks as one of the worst in NFL history. If you’re watching this game, you’re either a diehard fan of both teams or are fascinated by the idea of a Chris Johnson revenge game (which is probably even sadder than being a fan of either team). It’s even worse than the Colts-Jaguars game of a few years ago, when the 2-13 Colts needed a loss in Jacksonville to the 4-11 Jags in order to secure the rights to Andrew Luck. Something similar could be on the line in Tennessee: with the Jets, Bucs, and Titans all 2-11 (not to mention the Jaguars and Raiders), there are three quarterback-needy teams in a draft with two marquee quarterbacks: Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. As a result, the loser of the New York/Tennessee game could ultimately be the long-term winner.

This will be the first matchup of 2-11 teams since a 2008 game between the Rams and Seahawks. That game turned out to be much less exciting for draftniks with the benefit of hindsight: St. Louis selected Jason Smith with the second overall pick, while the Seahawks drafted Aaron Curry fourth overall.

So what’s the worst matchup of teams in NFL history? You can’t use just winning percentage, and it’s hard to compare teams who have played a different number of games. One solution is to add 11 games of .500 ball to each team. For the Jets and Titans, that would make both teams 7.5-16.5, which translates to an adjusted winning percentage of 0.313. That would be tied for the 19th worst game in NFL history.

The worst? There’s a tie there, too, involving a pair of Colts teams a decade apart. In 1981, the 1-14 Colts defeated the 2-13 Patriots. Baltimore had an adjusted (after adding 11 games of .500 play) winning percentage of 0.250, while New England was at 0.288, for an average of 0.269. The win swung the first overall pick to the Patriots and dropped the Colts to second overall, although Kenneth Sims and Johnie Cooks didn’t change the fate of either franchise. Ten years later, the Colts were again 1-14 and were scheduled to play the 2-13 Bucs. The twist here: Tampa Bay had already traded the team’s first round pick in 1992 to Indianapolis in exchange for Chris Chandler in 1990. The Bucs defeated the Colts, and Indianapolis selected Steve Emtman and Quentin Coryatt with the first two picks. Spoiler alert: that didn’t change the fate of the franchise, either. [click to continue…]

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Checkdowns: YPC Differential Leaders

Wilson's rushing prowess has powered Seattle this year

Wilson's rushing prowess has powered Seattle this year

Last season, the Seahawks posted the best ANY/A differential in the NFL. In fact, it was the 9th best ANY/A differential of any team since the merger, and Seattle wound up becoming the 5th team in the top ten in that statistic to win the Super Bowl.

You heard all about Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas and the great Seahawks pass defense, and it’s not as though Russell Wilson was flying under the radar, either. But this year, the Seahawks are recording even more extreme statistics in a different differential stat.

Yards per carry is super overrated: Danny Tuccitto did a nice job revealing that just a couple of days ago. But hey, I love trivia, so let’s move on.

Seattle ranks 1st in the NFL in yards per carry (5.08). Marshawn Lynch is at 4.2 YPC on 132 carries, but it’s Wilson’s 7.6 yards per carry average on 52 carries that sets the Seahawks apart. But the defense — so unstoppable against the pass in 2013 — ranks 1st in this metric, too. Seattle is allowing just 3.19 yards per carry this year; if it holds, that would be the best mark since the 2010 Steelers.

Combine, though, is where the Seahawks really stand out. Seattle has a 1.89 YPC differential, defined as YPC for the offense minus YPC allowed for the defense. How good is that? If it holds, it would be the 2nd best mark since 1950: [click to continue…]

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The braintrust.

The braintrust.

The Jets passing offense being bad does not qualify for news.  However, the Jets passing offense and passing defense combining for historically inept numbers? Sure, that qualifies.

New York has thrown 8 touchdown passes this year against 11 interceptions. That’s a -3 differential which is pretty bad.  Only two other teams have negative ratios this year: the Jaguars, also at -3 (11 TDs, 14 INTs), and the Vikings at -5 (6/11).  But the Jets pass defense has allowed 24 touchdowns while forcing just 1… ahem, ONE… interception.  That +23 ratio for opposing quarterbacks is better than any offense this year (the Broncos are at +19 (24/5), and the Patriots and Steelers are both at +20 with matching 23/3 TD/INT ratios).

From the perspective of the Jets defense, though, that +23 reverses to a -23.  Add to that the -3 from the offensive side of the ball, and New York’s combined TD/INT ratio from both units is an incredibly bad -26.

How bad? It’s tied for the 2nd worst number through 9 games since 1970, just narrowly behind the 1975 Cleveland Browns. Those Browns began the year with 3 passing touchdowns and 17 interceptions through nine games. Okay, that was even bad for the dead ball era, but what about the defense? Cleveland allowed 19 passing touchdowns while forcing just six interceptions during that stretch! Those numbers led to an 0-9 start under first-year head coach Forrest Gregg.

The table below shows all teams to start the season with at least a -20 ratio in this statistic I just made up. Here’s how to read the line from the famous 1944 Card/Pitt combination, forced together due to World War II. Through nine games, that team threw 8 touchdowns and 40 interceptions (-32), while allowing 19 passing touchdowns and intercepting just 15 passes (-4), for a total score of -36. [click to continue…]

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There's been a long drought in Cleveland

There’s been a long drought in Cleveland

October 27, 1991. The 4-3 Browns were hosting the 3-4 Steelers, and Vegas oddsmakers set the Browns as 1.5-point favorites. Bernie Kosar would complete 21 of 29 passes for 179 yards and a score, while Kevin Mack would lead the team with 54 yards rushing on 19 carries. It was not a great offensive day for the Browns, but the team managed to pick off Neil O’Donnell two times, and held Merrill Hoge to just 48 yards on 12 carries (the factor back chipped in with 56 receiving yards, too). Clay Matthews — the middle one — had one sack, Louis Lipps led all players with 69 receiving yards, and the only thing that would trick you into thinking that this game didn’t take place generations ago was that Matt Stover started the scoring with a 34-yard field goal. [click to continue…]

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Are Kickers Faring Worse In 2014?

Does it feel like kicking accuracy is down so far in 2014? Detroit rookie Nate Freese was just 3/7 before the Lions cut him on Monday, with all four misses coming in the 40-to-49 range. Bengals kicker Mike Nugent has also missed four attempts so far this year; for him, a 38-yarder balances out his 55-yard miss, to go along with a pair of unsuccessful tries in the 40-to-49 range.

Tampa Bay placekicker Patrick Murray had a 24-yard attempt blocked in a game Tampa Bay lost by two points. Randy Bullock, the Texans kicker who was Freese before Nate Freese existed, saw his 27-yard attempt blocked by Justin Tuck.1 Eight more kicks were missed in the 30-to-39 range, too, so if you feel like you’ve seen a bunch of missed field goals, well, I won’t tell you how to feel.

But are kickers actually faring worse this year? I broke down field goal attempts in three yard increments (18 to 20, 21 to 23, 24 to 26, etc.) for the first three weeks of each year beginning in 2002. The blue line shows the data from 2002 to 2005, the red line represents kicking from 2006 to 2009, and the green line covers the last four years. Since the data can be choppy, I included larger, smoothed lines, for each four-year period. [click to continue…]

  1. Who is not to be confused with the near-automatic Justin Tucker. The Ravens kicker did miss once this year, but we’ll give him a pass since it was a 55-yarder. []
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This week at the New York Times, I take a look at how Andy Dalton and Ryan Fitzpatrick are relying on yards after the catch to produce great efficiency numbers.

Two 2-0 teams have ridden the short-passing game to success. For the Cincinnati Bengals and the Houston Texans, the best players in their passing attacks are not the quarterbacks. As a result, both teams have constructed offenses that focus on high-percentage passes and getting the ball into the hands of their best playmakers.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is averaging 9.1 yards per attempt through two weeks and 13.8 yards per completion; both marks are the highest in the league. But Cincinnati players have averaged 9.2 yards gained after the catch per reception, easily the highest mark in the N.F.L. Running back Giovani Bernard is responsible for 25 percent of Dalton’s passing yards, but most of the credit there goes to Bernard. On his 11 receptions, he has gained 141 yards, with 158 yards coming after the catch (Bernard’s average reception came 1.6 yards behind the line of scrimmage). For wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, 90 of his 120 receiving yards have come after the catch, with the majority of those coming on his long touchdown against Atlanta.

As a result of the efforts of players like Bernard and Sanu, 67 percent of Dalton’s passing yards this season have come after the catch. That is the second highest percentage in the league behind Minnesota’s Matt Cassel. While it is easy to be impressed by Dalton’s gaudy numbers, it is fair to wonder how much of the credit belongs to Dalton and how much belongs to his talented teammates.

You can read the full article here.

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Checkdowns: Quarterback-Receiver Touchdown Pairings

A good article today from our pal Neil Paine, who asks whether Antonio Gates is the second best tight end in NFL history. I won’t weigh in on that subject, but after catching three touchdowns against the Seahawks on Sunday, Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates have now connected on 63 touchdown passes.

That’s the 10th most in NFL history, and the most by any quarterback/tight end pairing. The table below shows all quarterback-receiver combinations that scored at least 50 touchdown passes, including playoffs (and the AAFC). The final column shows the last year in which the duo scored a touchdown; as you can see, one other active combination is on the list, although Drew Brees and Marques Colston have not connected for a touchdown yet this year. [click to continue…]

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The weekly New York Times posts are back! This week, I look at how unusual it is for the Patriots to occupy the AFC East cellar.

After seven months without meaningful football, it is easy to overreact over the first week of the N.F.L. season. This does not mean Week 1 is unimportant; it is as important as any other week.

Still, what happened Sunday, at least in the American Football Conference East, was not any less extraordinary. For only the third time in a single week since 2001, the Patriots lost while the Jets, the Dolphins and the Bills won. The other times that happened were Week 6 in 2012 and Week 15 in 2004. New England ran away with the division title in both of those years, so do not declare the king dead just yet. But to put that statistic in perspective, consider that there have been 17 weeks since 2001 when the Patriots won while the Jets, the Dolphins and the Bills lost.

To understand the A.F.C. East is to understand its history. New York, Buffalo and Miami finished with a better record than New England in 2000. Since then, none of them has. Recent history shows this to be a remarkably stable division: in fact, the 2013 A.F.C. East had the fewest changes in wins of any division from one year to the next since the N.F.L. realigned divisions in 2002. The Patriots have long been the overlord of the division; most expected more of the same in 2014, but it may be time to re-examine that narrative.

You can read the full article here.

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Hurns was part of a big Jaguars first quarter

Hurns was part of a big Jaguars first quarter

Jacksonville’s Allen Hurns led all players in the preseason with 232 receiving yards. The 6’3, 195 receiver had a breakout senior year with Miami(FL) — in fact, he set a school record for receiving yards in a season — but that was not enough to get him selected in May’s draft.

We know that the Jaguars spent some time watching tape of the Miami offense, since Jacksonville used a third round pick on Hurricanes guard Brandon Linder. Perhaps that tipped them off to Hurns, who provided immediate returns in week one. What sort of returns?

  • Hurns caught four passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns against the Eagles in week one. Prior to the Calvin Johnson explosion on Monday night, those numbers put Hurns tied for fifth in the league in receiving yards, and tied for second in receiving touchdowns.
  • Hurns became just the 5th player since 1970 to hit the 100-yard receiving mark and catch two touchdowns in week one of his rookie season.
  • Hurns produced the 2nd best performance by an undrafted rookie wide receiver in a season opener since the merger.

[click to continue…]

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Friend of the program Stephanie Stradley (@StephStradley) interviewed me over at her blog at the Houston Chronicle to discuss quarterback stats.

Some folks have the point of view that rookie quarterbacks should sit and learn. Some folks have the point of view that the only way a young quarterback can learn is by getting a ton of first team reps in practice and then playing real games. Do the numbers say anything about this?

“This is always going to be an impossible question to answer. We don’t live in a counter-factual world, and nobody knows what would have happened to David Carr if he sat on the bench for a couple of years. Ryan Mallett might benefit from having sat behind Tom Brady for three years, or he might just be the next Curtis Painter (or Brian Hoyer or Jim Sorgi or Rohan Davey).

That said, I’m pretty skeptical of the idea that a quarterback needs to sit and learn. There’s nothing wrong with sitting and learning, but I don’t think it makes a quarterback better.  Aaron Rodgers was great right away after sitting for three years; had he started right away, he almost certainly would not have been that good, but I don’t doubt that he would have still turned into the superstar he is today.

One thing that isn’t really true: rookie quarterbacks aren’t really starting much earlier than they used to. In general, top picks always got a chance pretty early in their careers.”

You can read the full article here.

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Unstable Divisions

The AFC East was a very stable division over the past two years. The Patriots won 12 games in 2012 and 12 more in 2013. The Bills, with six wins in 2013, also repeated their 2012 win total. Miami won 7 games in 2012, and then 8 last year. And the Jets followed up a 6-10 season in 2012 with an 8-8 season last year. That’s about as stable as a division can get. The four teams saw their win totals move by an aggregate of just three wins, making the 2012-2013 AFC East the most stable division since realignment.

On the other end of the spectrum: the NFC South. The Falcons dropped from 13 wins in 2012 to just four last year. The Panthers jumped from 7 wins in 2012 to 12 last year, and it didn’t even take Bill Parcells to do it. New Orleans also won seven games in 2012, but jumped to 12 wins in 2013. The team that saw the least movement in the NFC South last year was Tampa Bay, but the Bucs still fell from 7 wins to 4 wins, matching the total movement by all AFC East teams. As a group, NFC South teams had a change of 21 wins from 2012 to 2013, the most of any division since realignment.

That’s hardly new for the NFC South, or for that matter, the AFC East. Since realignment, the NFC South has easily been the league’s most unstable division: the Falcons, Saints, Bucs, and Panthers have seen their win totals fluctuate by an average total of 18.8 wins per year, beginning with the 2002-2003 seasons. The AFC East has been incredibly stable: no team has ever finished with more wins than New England, while the Bills have finished last or tied for last eight times since realignment. As a result, the average movement among AFC East teams — in the aggregate — has been just 6.3 wins.

RkDivisionChange in Wins/YrChange # Wins/Tm Yr
1NFC South15.73.9
2NFC North13.33.3
3AFC West11.93.3
4AFC North11.93.0
5AFC South11.72.9
6NFC East11.32.8
7NFC West10.82.7
8AFC East10.82.7

[click to continue…]

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538: NFC West Preview Articles

Yesterday, Neil Paine previewed the NFC East teams over at FiveThirtyEight. Today, yours truly is up with a look at the NFC West.

The Cardinals won 10 games last year, only the second time the team reached double digits in victories since moving to Arizona in 1988. Their run defense was the key. The Cardinals allowed just 1,351 rushing yards, the fewest in the NFL. They ranked first in rushing defense DVOA, Football Outsiders’ main defensive statistic, and stuffed opposing ball-carriers for no gain or a loss on 28 percent of runs, the most in the NFL.

But three of the key players responsible for that success are gone, including inside linebacker Karlos Dansby. Dansby was one of just two players in 2013 to record 100 tackles, more than four sacks, and more than four interceptions. He is a very good run defender, but he is also a strong pass-rusher and is excellent in pass coverage. Of course, that’s why the Cleveland Browns signed him to a four-year, $24 million deal on the first day of free agency.

The Cardinals were prepared for Dansby’s departure, but the other two exits left the team with little time to find a solution. In June, starting inside linebacker Daryl Washington was suspended for the season for (again) violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Like Dansby, Washington is a versatile player: He’s a great pass-rusher (his nine sacks in 2012 were the most by an inside linebacker since Bart Scott’s 9.5 in 2006) and above-average in coverage, in addition to being a strong run-defender.

And last Monday, defensive end Darnell Dockett was lost for the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee. Dockett is not just an above-average 3-4 defensive end against the run, but a team leader and — along with superstar wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald — the player on the team with the longest tenure.

You can read the full article here.

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The AP’s All-Pro Voting Process Is a Joke

In early January, the Associated Press announced its All-Pro team. The voting process is pretty simple: 50 voters select their top players at each position, and a first-team All-Pro squad is announced.  The runners-up at each position are placed on the second-team, but that leads to some very odd results. If fans, teams, and Hall of Fame voters are going to put weight on a player being considered a 2nd-team All-Pro, then the voters should actually vote for both a first and second team. Simply naming the second vote getter (or third and fourth vote getters at positions with two starters) as the second-team All-Pro(s) invites significant abuses of the system.

Let’s take a look at the detailed voting breakdown.  I’ve bolded the first-team All-Pro(s) at each position, and italicized the second-team “choices.”

Quarterback

Peyton Manning, Denver, 50.

This one’s pretty easy.

Running Back

LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia, 48; Jamaal Charles, Kansas City, 47; Adrian Peterson, Minnesota, 1; Eddie Lacy, Green Bay, 1.

Did you hear that Eddie Lacy was a second-team All-Pro choice in 2013? That’s because one voter — presumably one in Wisconsin — decided that Lacy was better than McCoy or Charles in 2013. And that’s it. Is Lacy, or for that matter, Peterson, a more-deserving choice as a 2nd-team All-Pro than Matt Forte, Marshawn Lynch, Alfred Morris, Knowshon Moreno, or DeMarco Murray? Who knows — and that’s the point. The 2nd-team All-Pro honors going to Peterson and Lacy are essentially meaningless pieces of information. All we know is that 1 voter out of 50 decided that those two were top-2 running backs in 2013. Gregg Rosenthal noted that it was a shame that Forte was passed over for 2nd-team honors, and I agree with that sentiment. But Forte wasn’t passed over in the literal sense: had the 50 voters actually selected a second-team pair of running backs, I suspect Forte would have been chosen.

It’s also worth noting that it appears as though 3 voters selected only one running back. Brilliant.

Fullback

Mike Tolbert, Carolina, 31; Marcel Reece, Oakland, 8; Anthony Sherman, Kansas City, 5; Bruce Miller, San Francisco, 4; John Kuhn, Green Bay, 1.

Anyone want to offer me 49:1 odds that the AP voter who selected Kuhn also selected Lacy?

Tight End

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans, 49; Vernon Davis, San Francisco, 1.

Vernon Davis was a 2nd-team All-Pro in 2013 because…. 2% of all voters thought Davis was better than Jimmy Graham. Graham should have been a unanimous pick, but we all know what happened here: some voter decided that he wanted Davis to get some love, and figured he could ensure such accolades by placing Davis on the 2nd team by casting just one vote for him. I love Davis, and think he’s probably an underrated player nationally, but how can anyone give any credibility to this “accomplishment”?

[click to continue…]

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sb xlviii squaresLast year, I wrote an article about Super Bowl squares. Well, it’s that time of year again, so here’s your helpful cheat sheet to win at your Super Bowl party.

Every Super Bowl squares pool is different, but this post is really aimed at readers who play in pools where you can trade or pick squares. I looked at every regular season and postseason game since 2002. The table below shows the likelihood of each score after each quarter, along with three final columns that show the expected value of a $100 prize pool under three different payout systems. The “10/” column shows the payout in a pool where 10% of the prize money is given out after each of the first three quarters and 70% after the end of the game; the next column is for pools that give out 12.5% of the pool after the first and third quarters, 25% at halftime, and 50% for the score at the end of the game. The final column is for pools that give out 25% of the pot after each quarter — since I think that is the most common pool structure, I’ve sorted the table by that column, but you can sort by any column you like. To make the table fully sortable, I had to remove the percentage symbols, but “19, 6.7, 4.1, 2″ should be read as 19.0%, 6.7%, 4.1%, and 2.0%. [click to continue…]

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It’s Christmas in January. Again. Thanks to the tireless work of Mike Kania and the P-F-R staff, PFR has now generated the Approximate Values for every player in the NFL this year. For the uninitiated, you can review how AV is calculated here. And if you’re so inclined, you can thank Mike or PFR on twitter. (You can still thank Neil, although he has now officially moved on.)

Here’s a list of the top 100 players. AV is also listed for each player on each team’s roster page on PFR (for Seattle, it’s Richard Sherman). You can use the PFR player finder for all sorts of AV-related fun, too. For example, you could see the player with the most AV on your favorite team (for the Jets, it’s Muhammad Wilkerson), or by position (among wide receivers, it’s a three-way tie between Antonio BrownAlshon Jeffery, and Demaryius Thomas), or by age (among those 35 or older, it’s Peyton Manning, or John Abraham for non-quarterbacks; Vontaze Burfict and Luke Kuechly lead the 23-and-younger crowd.)

Here’s a list of the 25 players with an AV of 15+ or greater:

Games Misc
Rk Player Year Age Draft Tm G GS PB AP1 AV
1 Peyton Manning 2013 37 1-1 DEN 16 16 1 1 19
2 Richard Sherman 2013 25 5-154 SEA 16 16 1 1 19
3 Louis Vasquez 2013 26 3-78 DEN 16 16 1 1 19
4 Navorro Bowman 2013 25 3-91 SFO 16 16 1 1 18
5 Vontaze Burfict 2013 23 CIN 16 16 1 0 18
6 Luke Kuechly 2013 22 1-9 CAR 16 16 1 1 18
7 Drew Brees 2013 34 2-32 NOR 16 16 1 0 17
8 Jason Peters 2013 31 PHI 16 16 1 1 17
9 Jamaal Charles 2013 27 3-73 KAN 15 15 1 1 16
10 Karlos Dansby 2013 32 2-33 ARI 16 16 0 0 16
11 Cam Newton 2013 24 1-1 CAR 16 16 1 0 16
12 Robert Quinn 2013 23 1-14 STL 16 16 1 1 16
13 Philip Rivers 2013 32 1-4 SDG 16 16 1 0 16
14 Tyron Smith 2013 23 1-9 DAL 16 16 1 0 16
15 J.J. Watt 2013 24 1-11 HOU 16 16 1 1 16
16 Muhammad Wilkerson 2013 24 1-30 NYJ 16 16 0 0 16
17 Russell Wilson 2013 25 3-75 SEA 16 16 1 0 16
18 Matt Forte 2013 28 2-44 CHI 16 16 1 0 15
19 Greg Hardy 2013 25 6-175 CAR 16 13 1 0 15
20 Colin Kaepernick 2013 26 2-36 SFO 16 16 0 0 15
21 Andrew Luck 2013 24 1-1 IND 16 16 0 0 15
22 Robert Mathis 2013 32 5-138 IND 16 16 1 1 15
23 LeSean McCoy 2013 25 2-53 PHI 16 16 1 1 15
24 Patrick Peterson 2013 23 1-5 ARI 16 16 1 1 15
25 Ndamukong Suh 2013 26 1-2 DET 16 16 1 1 15
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The table below shows the results of every game in the division round of the playoffs from 1990 to 2012. Each game is displayed from the perspective of the home team. For example, last year, Denver hosted Baltimore in the second round of the playoffs, and you can click on the Boxscore link to see the full boxscore at Pro-Football-Reference. Denver lost 38-35 as a 9-point favorite, and the Over/Under was 44.5. The “dnc” means that the Broncos did not cover.

YearHomeRoadBoxscorePFPALineO/UResultATS
2012SFOGNBBoxscore4531-345.5Woncover
2012DENBALBoxscore3538-944.5Lost (OT)dnc
2012ATLSEABoxscore3028-347Wondnc
2012NWEHOUBoxscore4128-9.551Woncover
2011SFONORBoxscore36323.547Woncover
2011NWEDENBoxscore4510-13.550Woncover
2011BALHOUBoxscore2013-837.5Wondnc
2011GNBNYGBoxscore2037-854.5Lostdnc
2010ATLGNBBoxscore2148-1.543.5Lostdnc
2010PITBALBoxscore3124-337Woncover
2010NWENYJBoxscore2128-9.545Lostdnc
2010CHISEABoxscore3524-1043Woncover
2009INDBALBoxscore203-6.544Woncover
2009NORARIBoxscore4514-757Woncover
2009MINDALBoxscore343-2.545Woncover
2009SDGNYJBoxscore1417-942.5Lostdnc
2008TENBALBoxscore1013-333.5Lostdnc
2008CARARIBoxscore1333-1049.5Lostdnc
2008NYGPHIBoxscore1123-439Lostdnc
2008PITSDGBoxscore3524-6.538.5Woncover
2007GNBSEABoxscore4220-7.544Woncover
2007NWEJAXBoxscore3120-13.551.5Wondnc
2007DALNYGBoxscore1721-747.5Lostdnc
2007INDSDGBoxscore2428-1147Lostdnc
2006BALINDBoxscore615-441Lostdnc
2006NORPHIBoxscore2724-4.548.5Wondnc
2006SDGNWEBoxscore2124-546.5Lostdnc
2006CHISEABoxscore2724-8.537.5Won (OT)dnc
2005DENNWEBoxscore2713-344Woncover
2005SEAWASBoxscore2010-8.541Woncover
2005CHICARBoxscore2129-331Lostdnc
2005INDPITBoxscore1821-8.546.5Lostdnc
2004ATLSTLBoxscore4717-6.549Woncover
2004PITNYJBoxscore2017-935.5Won (OT)dnc
2004NWEINDBoxscore203-151Woncover
2004PHIMINBoxscore2714-847Woncover
2003NWETENBoxscore1714-634Wondnc
2003STLCARBoxscore2329-746Lost (OT)dnc
2003KANINDBoxscore3138-353Lostdnc
2003PHIGNBBoxscore2017-443Won (OT)dnc
2002TENPITBoxscore3431-4.544Won (OT)dnc
2002PHIATLBoxscore206-7.538.5Woncover
2002OAKNYJBoxscore3010-5.547Woncover
2002TAMSFOBoxscore316-639.5Woncover
2001NWEOAKBoxscore1613-341.5Won (OT)push
2001CHIPHIBoxscore1933-332.5Lostdnc
2001PITBALBoxscore2710-5.532Woncover
2001STLGNBBoxscore4517-1154.5Woncover
2000MINNORBoxscore3416-849.5Woncover
2000OAKMIABoxscore270-942Woncover
2000NYGPHIBoxscore2010-4.533.5Woncover
2000TENBALBoxscore1024-634Lostdnc
1999TAMWASBoxscore1413-4.538Wondnc
1999JAXMIABoxscore627-837.5Woncover
1999INDTENBoxscore1619-5.546.5Lostdnc
1999STLMINBoxscore4937-752Woncover
1998ATLSFOBoxscore2018-3.553Wondnc
1998DENMIABoxscore383-13.548Woncover
1998NYJJAXBoxscore3424-943Woncover
1998MINARIBoxscore4121-16.552.5Woncover
1997PITNWEBoxscore76-642Wondnc
1997SFOMINBoxscore3822-11.542Woncover
1997KANDENBoxscore1014041Lostdnc
1997GNBTAMBoxscore217-1338Woncover
1996GNBSFOBoxscore3514-541.5Woncover
1996DENJAXBoxscore2730-12.543.5Lostdnc
1996CARDALBoxscore26173.537.5Woncover
1996NWEPITBoxscore283-341.5Woncover
1995PITBUFBoxscore4021-642Woncover
1995SFOGNBBoxscore1727-9.552Lostdnc
1995KANINDBoxscore710-841.5Lostdnc
1995DALPHIBoxscore3011-13.545.5Woncover
1994PITCLEBoxscore299-3.532.5Woncover
1994SFOCHIBoxscore4415-15.546.5Woncover
1994SDGMIABoxscore2221-346Wondnc
1994DALGNBBoxscore359-1043Woncover
1993BUFRAIBoxscore2923-733.5Wondnc
1993SFONYGBoxscore443-841.5Woncover
1993HOUKANBoxscore2028-741.5Lostdnc
1993DALGNBBoxscore2717-13.542Wondnc
1992PITBUFBoxscore324-236Lostdnc
1992SFOWASBoxscore2013-9.539Wondnc
1992MIASDGBoxscore310-237Woncover
1992DALPHIBoxscore3410-6.538Woncover
1991DENHOUBoxscore2624-3.537Wondnc
1991WASATLBoxscore247-11.543Woncover
1991DETDALBoxscore386043Woncover
1991BUFKANBoxscore3714-10.541Woncover
1990BUFMIABoxscore4434-734Woncover
1990SFOWASBoxscore2810-841Woncover
1990RAICINBoxscore2010-643Woncover
1990NYGCHIBoxscore313-733Woncover

Overall, home teams are 67-25 and 49-42-1 against the spread.

{ 0 comments }

2013 Team NY/A and ANY/A Differential Data

Just a quick data dump here for those inquiring minds. Here are the leaders in NY/A differential, which is simply Net Yards per Attempt (which incorporates sack data) for each team minus the Net Yards per Attempt allowed by that team. Seattle ranks #1 in NY/A differential, as Russell Wilson‘s offense has averaged 6.97 NY/A (which ranks 6th) and the defense has allowed just 4.85 NY/A (which ranks first), giving them a +2.13 NY/A differential.

RkTmNY/ANY/A RkNY/A ANY/A A RkNY/A Diff
1Seattle Seahawks6.9764.8512.13
2Cincinnati Bengals6.7295.0921.63
3Denver Broncos7.8316.22171.61
4New Orleans Saints7.1545.5871.56
5Arizona Cardinals6.51115.5560.96
6Philadelphia Eagles7.4236.56220.86
7San Francisco 49ers6.53105.6890.86
8Pittsburgh Steelers6.39125.88100.51
9San Diego Chargers7.5427.1310.44
10Carolina Panthers5.9205.550.39
11Detroit Lions6.8286.53200.29
12New York Giants5.91195.6380.28
13Green Bay Packers6.9476.79250.15
14Buffalo Bills5.44295.2930.15
15New England Patriots6.12156110.12
16Chicago Bears7.0356.93270.1
17Cleveland Browns5.53275.4940.05
18Tennessee Titans6.13146.2215-0.08
19Indianapolis Colts6.07166.4219-0.35
20Houston Texans5.65256.0513-0.4
21Kansas City Chiefs5.69246.214-0.51
22Miami Dolphins5.47286.0312-0.56
23Dallas Cowboys6.37136.9829-0.62
24New York Jets5.56266.318-0.73
25Baltimore Ravens5.38306.2216-0.84
26Minnesota Vikings5.81216.6723-0.86
27St. Louis Rams5.77226.7524-0.98
28Oakland Raiders5.93186.9728-1.04
29Atlanta Falcons6.04177.1132-1.08
30Washington Redskins5.74237.0830-1.35
31Jacksonville Jaguars5.36316.8126-1.45
32Tampa Bay Buccaneers5.03326.5421-1.51

[click to continue…]

{ 7 comments }

A special bonus article this week at the New York Times, as I took a look at the incredible career of London Fletcher.

On Sunday, Fletcher, a Washington captain, will play in his 256th straight game, the third-longest streak in N.F.L. history for a player who was not a kicker, behind only Brett Favre’s 299 games and Jim Marshall’s 282.

Having somehow survived for 16 seasons without sustaining any kind of disabling injury, all while playing amid the chaos and attrition rates that are parts of an inside linebacker’s life, Fletcher has said he plans to call it quits after Sunday’s game while he is still ahead.

By the end of this week, though, he was hedging a bit, not quite sure he was truly ready to walk away.

Five weeks ago, Fletcher moved ahead of Eugene Robinson, a safety for 16 seasons, and became the career leader in games played by an undrafted defensive player. Earlier this season, he broke Derrick Brooks’s record of 208 consecutive starts at linebacker. On Sunday, Fletcher will start his 216th consecutive game. He has, in effect, dodged a million bullets in a game that is tough for any player to endure physically.

You can read the full article here. In addition, related readings on Fletcher can be found here and here.

{ 3 comments }

2013 Pro Bowlers announced

This year, the NFL has eliminated the AFC/NFC distinction, and just selected Pro Bowlers at each position. The results:

Quarterback: Tom Brady, Patriots; Drew Brees, Saints; Peyton Manning, Broncos; Cam Newton, Panthers; Philip Rivers, Chargers; Russell Wilson, Seahawks.

No surprises here. With a full season, Nick Foles and Aaron Rodgers would have made this a more competitive race.

Running back: Jamaal Charles, Chiefs; Matt Forte, Bears; Frank Gore, 49ers; Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks; LeSean McCoy, Eagles; Adrian Peterson, Vikings.

Six of the seven rushing leaders, with Gore jumping ahead of Alfred Morris (fifth in rushing yards).

Fullback: Marcel Reece, Raiders; Mike Tolbert, Panthers.

Clear-cut picks if you read my Fullback Report.

Wide receiver: Antonio Brown, Steelers; Dez Bryant, Cowboys; Josh Gordon, Browns; A.J. Green, Bengals; Andre Johnson, Texans; Calvin Johnson, Lions; Brandon Marshall, Bears; Demaryius Thomas, Broncos.

Six of the top 7 leaders in receiving yards made it, with Alshon Jeffery missing out. Marshall is 11th in receiving yards but in the top seven in both receptions and receiving touchdowns, while Bryant ranks 15th in receiving yards but is tied for the lead among wide receivers in touchdowns.

Tight End: Jordan Cameron, Browns; Vernon Davis, 49ers; Jimmy Graham, Saints; Julius Thomas, Broncos.

If Cameron had 16 more receiving yards, these would be the top four tight ends in fantasy points. Instead it’s four of the top five, overlooking Tony Gonzalez. There’s a good chance Gonzalez makes his 14th Pro Bowl by the time the game comes around.

Tackle: Branden Albert, Chiefs; Jason Peters, Eagles; Tyron Smith, Cowboys; Joe Staley, 49ers; Joe Thomas, Browns; Trent Williams, Redskins.
[click to continue…]

{ 4 comments }

If you look at the Patriots’ PFR page, you’ll see that the Patriots are a 10-3team that’s played like an 8-5 team that has a 6-7 record against the spread. I wondered how often a team with such a good record was below average against the spread. The answer: pretty frequently. Which I suppose isn’t too surprising, since Vegas doesn’t like to make it so easy to win money that all you need to do is pick winners.

New England has mirrored its ancestors from 35 years ago, who also started 10-3 but posted a 7-6 record against the spread. The table below shows all teams from 1978 to 2012, excluding the strike years, to win at least 3 more games outright through 13 weeks than against the spread. In an expected turn of events, the top 4 teams on the list all made the Super Bowl in the prior year. That leads to being favored frequently, and if you win enough close games, you’ll make this list.
[click to continue…]

{ 3 comments }

pfr ravens vikings

I don’t know if any of us have ever seen a game quite like the end of Baltimore-Minnesota. With 2:05 left in the game, Baltimore faced 4th-and-goal from the Vikings 1-yard line. The Ravens trailed 12-7.

In what looked to be the game-winner, Joe Flacco hit Dennis Pitta for a touchdown pass. A two-point conversion to Torrey Smith put the Ravens up, 15-12.

On the next play from scrimmage, Matt Cassel hit Jerome Simpson for 27 yards. With 1:27 left, Toby Gerhart rushed up the middle for a 41-yard touchdown, which looked to be the game winner. The Vikings now led 19-15.

But Jacoby Jones returned the ensuing kickoff for what looked to be a game-winning, 77-yard touchdown, to put Baltimore back on top, 22-19.

Matt Cassel then threw a couple of incompletions, before throwing a screen pass to Cordarrelle Patterson…. that the rookie to the house for a 79-yard touchdown. That looked to be the game-winner, as Minnesota now lead 26-22.

But then Joe Flacco drove the Ravens down the field, and hit Marlon Brown for a nine-yard touchdown with four seconds left, in what was actually the game-winner. Baltimore left with a very unlikely 29-26 victory.

Add in the Cassel-to-Simpson touchdown on the second play of the fourth quarter, and that means there were six touchdowns in the final quarter that were lead-changing scores. That’s an NFL record.

Prior to this game, only four games saw five lead-changing touchdowns in the fourth quarter. A Bills-Raiders Ryan Fitzpatrick/Jason Campbell shootout from 2011, a Bruce Gradkowski-fueled comeback win over Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers in 2009, a Monday Night thriller between the great Mark Sanchez and Chad Henne earlier that same season, and a Giants-Cardinals shootout from 1962. Hat/tip to the great Scott Hanson for alerting me to the record.

{ 6 comments }

Checkdowns: Tale of a Tailspin Graphic (NYT)

I contributed to this New York Times graphic regarding the Jets struggles.

{ 0 comments }

Josh Gordon sets two-game receiving record

Cleveland’s Josh Gordon caught 14 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers last week. Against the Jaguars this afternoon, Gordon caught 10 passes for 261 yards and two scores. In the process, he became the first player to ever record back-to-back 200+ yard receiving games, and set an NFL record with 498 receiving yards in two games.

The table below shows the 53 players to record 350 receiving yards in back-to-back games from 1960 to 2012. Until this year, Houston’s Andre Johnson had the modern record for receiving yards in consecutive games, set just last season. Then Calvin Johnson had 484 yards in two straight games, setting a record that stood for all of five weeks.

PlayerTeamyear_idrec ydsrecrectdGame 1 BoxGame 2 Box
Andre JohnsonHOU2012461231BoxscoreBoxscore
Calvin JohnsonDET2011455233BoxscoreBoxscore
Chad JohnsonCIN2006450175BoxscoreBoxscore
John TaylorSFO1989448163BoxscoreBoxscore
Jerry RiceSFO1995442263BoxscoreBoxscore
Miles AustinDAL2009421164BoxscoreBoxscore
Flipper AndersonRAM1989413191BoxscoreBoxscore
Terrell OwensSFO2000412262BoxscoreBoxscore
Jerry RiceSFO1995410203BoxscoreBoxscore
Stephone PaigeKAN1986402132BoxscoreBoxscore
Frank ClarkeDAL1962400145BoxscoreBoxscore
Sonny RandleSTL1962400193BoxscoreBoxscore
Don MaynardNYJ1968394162BoxscoreBoxscore
Drew BennettTEN2004393255BoxscoreBoxscore
Lance AlworthSDG1963390182BoxscoreBoxscore
Andre JohnsonHOU2009389202BoxscoreBoxscore
Eric MouldsBUF1999387191BoxscoreBoxscore
Wes ChandlerSDG1982385175BoxscoreBoxscore
Flipper AndersonRAM1989384171BoxscoreBoxscore
Art PowellOAK1964382175BoxscoreBoxscore
Raymond BerryBAL1960381154BoxscoreBoxscore
Charley HenniganHOU1961381171BoxscoreBoxscore
Charley HenniganHOU1961380172BoxscoreBoxscore
Wes ChandlerSDG1982378144BoxscoreBoxscore
Jerry RiceSFO1989378172BoxscoreBoxscore
Wes WelkerNWE2011375253BoxscoreBoxscore
Torry HoltSTL2003374182BoxscoreBoxscore
Qadry IsmailBAL1999373134BoxscoreBoxscore
Eric MouldsBUF1998373143BoxscoreBoxscore
Glenn BassBUF1964372142BoxscoreBoxscore
Isaac BruceSTL1995372184BoxscoreBoxscore
Qadry IsmailBAL1999371113BoxscoreBoxscore
Fred BiletnikoffOAK1968370144BoxscoreBoxscore
Webster SlaughterCLE1989370123BoxscoreBoxscore
James LoftonGNB1984368163BoxscoreBoxscore
Lance RentzelDAL1967368183BoxscoreBoxscore
Isaac BruceSTL1995364192BoxscoreBoxscore
Gary ClarkWAS1986364172BoxscoreBoxscore
James LoftonGNB1984364162BoxscoreBoxscore
Jerry RiceSFO1986360163BoxscoreBoxscore
Chris ChambersMIA2005359233BoxscoreBoxscore
Henry EllardWAS1994359162BoxscoreBoxscore
Del ShofnerNYG1962359171BoxscoreBoxscore
Stephone PaigeKAN1985358113BoxscoreBoxscore
Drew BennettTEN2004357156BoxscoreBoxscore
Charlie JoinerSDG1981357130BoxscoreBoxscore
Lance AlworthSDG1967355152BoxscoreBoxscore
Roy GreenSTL1984355142BoxscoreBoxscore
Pete RetzlaffPHI1965355143BoxscoreBoxscore
Lance AlworthSDG196435393BoxscoreBoxscore
Bill GromanHOU1960353123BoxscoreBoxscore
Jimmy SmithJAX1999352192BoxscoreBoxscore
Calvin JohnsonDET2012350172BoxscoreBoxscore
{ 15 comments }

Presented below, without comment, is a table of every matchup featuring Tom Brady & Peyton Manning as the starting quarterbacks. Enjoy:

DateHome TeamFavoritePatriots PassingColts/Broncos PassingAdvantageOutcome
2001-09-30NWECLT -11.513-23, 159 yds, 0 TD, 0 Int, 6.63 ANYPA25-43, 240 yds, 1 TD, 3 Int, 2.72 ANYPA+3.91, NWE44-13, NWE
2001-10-21CLTCLT -10.517-21, 262 yds, 4 TD, 0 Int, 16.29 ANYPA22-34, 305 yds, 1 TD, 0 Int, 8.55 ANYPA+7.73, NWE38-17, NWE
2003-11-30CLTCLT -3.526-35, 226 yds, 2 TD, 2 Int, 4.76 ANYPA29-48, 272 yds, 4 TD, 1 Int, 6.14 ANYPA+1.38, CLT38-34, NWE
2004-01-18 (C)NWENWE -3.522-37, 237 yds, 1 TD, 1 Int, 5.73 ANYPA23-47, 208 yds, 1 TD, 4 Int, 0.94 ANYPA+4.79, NWE24-14, NWE
2004-09-09NWENWE -326-38, 320 yds, 3 TD, 1 Int, 8.38 ANYPA16-29, 244 yds, 2 TD, 1 Int, 7.97 ANYPA+0.41, NWE27-24, NWE
2005-01-16 (D)NWENWE -118-27, 115 yds, 1 TD, 0 Int, 4.50 ANYPA27-42, 230 yds, 0 TD, 1 Int, 4.30 ANYPA+0.20, NWE20-3, NWE
2005-11-07NWECLT -325-40, 254 yds, 3 TD, 0 Int, 7.48 ANYPA28-37, 321 yds, 3 TD, 1 Int, 9.08 ANYPA+1.60, CLT40-21, CLT
2006-11-05NWENWE -2.520-35, 201 yds, 0 TD, 4 Int, 0.60 ANYPA20-36, 301 yds, 2 TD, 1 Int, 7.59 ANYPA+6.99, CLT27-20, CLT
2007-01-21 (C)CLTCLT -321-34, 226 yds, 1 TD, 1 Int, 5.74 ANYPA27-47, 330 yds, 1 TD, 1 Int, 6.10 ANYPA+0.36, CLT38-34, CLT
2007-11-04CLTNWE -521-32, 237 yds, 3 TD, 2 Int, 6.09 ANYPA16-27, 210 yds, 1 TD, 1 Int, 6.17 ANYPA+0.08, CLT24-20, NWE
2009-11-15CLTCLT -1.529-42, 364 yds, 3 TD, 1 Int, 8.61 ANYPA28-44, 316 yds, 4 TD, 2 Int, 6.80 ANYPA+1.81, NWE35-34, CLT
2010-11-21NWENWE -4.519-25, 178 yds, 2 TD, 0 Int, 8.38 ANYPA38-52, 396 yds, 4 TD, 3 Int, 6.56 ANYPA+1.83, NWE31-28, NWE
2012-10-07NWENWE -623-31, 193 yds, 1 TD, 0 Int, 6.09 ANYPA31-44, 324 yds, 3 TD, 0 Int, 8.35 ANYPA+2.26, DEN31-21, NWE
2013-11-24NWEDEN -2.534-50, 324 yds, 3 TD, 0 Int, 7.25 ANYPA19-36, 132 yds, 2 TD, 1 Int, 3.34 ANYPA+3.90, NWE34-31, NWE
{ 8 comments }

(I originally posted this at the S-R Blog, but I thought it would be very appropriate here as well.)

Just a quick hit of a post to let you know that tonight’s MNF matchup between the 0-6 Giants and the 1-4 Vikings is, in fact, the worst ever this late in the season by combined winning percentage:

game_idhomeWLTPFPAroadWLTPFPAyear_idweek_numgame_datecomb_wpctcomb_pt_diffwinner
201310210nygnyg060103209min1401251582013710/21/2013.091-12.6NULL
197512150sdgsdg1110148282nyj39022137819751312/15/1975.167-12.1sdg, 24-16
199411210otioti190147218nyg37017122019941211/21/1994.200-6.0nyg, 13-10
197211060nwenwe25092220clt160941451972811/6/1972.214-12.8clt, 24-17
197011020pitpit2407194cin150931561970711/2/1970.250-7.2pit, 21-10
198110190detdet240118126chi150891331981710/19/1981.250-4.3det, 48-17
199710200cltclt06088155buf3301221591997810/20/1997.250-8.7buf, 9-6
201211260phiphi370162252car28018424320121211/26/2012.250-7.5car, 30-22
200001030atlatl4110251351sfo41102664191999171/3/2000.267-8.4atl, 34-29
200512190ravrav490171253gnb310025525520051512/19/2005.269-3.2rav, 48-3
198310240crdcrd250137218nyg2501261561983810/24/1983.286-7.9tie (20-20)
201112120seasea570216246ram210014029620111412/12/2011.292-7.8sea, 30-13
201011290crdcrd370188292sfo37016021920101211/29/2010.300-8.2sfo, 27-6
200911160clecle17078209rav44020615420091011/16/2009.313-4.9rav, 16-0
198011240nornor0110181341ram74029422819801211/24/1980.318-4.3ram, 27-7
201112050jaxjax380138200sdg47024927520111312/5/2011.318-4.0sdg, 38-14
198312120tamtam2120212345gnb77039640719831512/12/1983.321-5.1gnb, 12-9
198711020daldal330135134nyg150991421987711/2/1987.333-3.5dal, 33-24
199910250pitpit33011793atl150741531999710/25/1999.333-4.6pit, 13-9
200211180ramram450194196chi27018223220021111/18/2002.333-2.9ram, 21-16
200511210gnbgnb270201184min45015422820051111/21/2005.333-3.2min, 20-17
200012040nwenwe390192253kan57028327420001412/4/2000.333-2.2nwe, 30-24
200412130otioti480231294kan48034132620041412/13/2004.333-2.0kan, 49-38
200712100atlatl390171272nor57026627920071412/10/2007.333-4.8nor, 34-14
199112090miamia760256275cin211021137419911512/9/1991.346-7.0mia, 37-13
197311260sfosfo370180232gnb35213819819731111/26/1973.350-5.6sfo, 20-6
197811130cincin190110184rai64019316419781111/13/1978.350-2.3rai, 34-21
200711260pitpit730269145mia010018327420071211/26/2007.350+1.7pit, 3-0
199311290cltclt370154233sdg46016419519931311/29/1993.350-5.5sdg, 31-0
198010270nyjnyj160114164mia430991441980810/27/1980.357-6.8nyj, 17-14
199710270miamia520143124chi0701011991997910/27/1997.357-5.6chi, 36-33
199811020phiphi16079162dal4301741151998911/2/1998.357-1.7dal, 34-0
201211050nornor250190216phi3401201552012911/5/2012.357-4.4nor, 28-13
198311070detdet450202188nyg26116621419831011/7/1983.361-1.9det, 15-9
199111250ramram380181256sfo56021815519911311/25/1991.364-0.5sfo, 33-10
199211300seasea110073218den74017520719921311/30/1992.364-8.0sea, 16-13
200812010htxhtx470252293jax47022424020081312/1/2008.364-2.6htx, 30-17
197111150sdgsdg350150179crd3501351491971911/15/1971.375-2.7sdg, 20-17
197910290atlatl350160181sea3501721811979910/29/1979.375-1.9sea, 31-28
200611130carcar440137163tam26010217320061011/13/2006.375-6.1car, 24-10
200711120seasea440167141sfo26010418620071011/12/2007.375-3.5sea, 24-0
201211120pitpit530191164kan17013324020121011/12/2012.375-5.0pit, 16-13
199010290pitpit340109128ram2401641731990810/29/1990.385-2.2pit, 41-10
201212170otioti490271386nyj67024530620121512/17/2012.385-6.8oti, 14-10
197012070otioti371177249cle56023623619701212/7/1970.386-3.3cle, 21-10
197711210waswas540126132gnb2708315219771011/21/1977.389-4.2was, 10-9
200311170sfosfo450202152pit36017621720031111/17/2003.389+0.5sfo, 30-14
201011220sdgsdg450239197den36020325220101111/22/2010.389-0.4sdg, 35-14
199410170denden140108146kan32090801994710/17/1994.400-2.8kan, 31-28
199911290sfosfo370163281gnb55019220919991211/29/1999.400-6.8gnb, 20-3

It is not, however, the worst by combined PPG margin. That honor belongs to this 1972 game between the 2-5 Patriots and the 1-6 Colts (Baltimore ended up winning 24-17):

game_idhomeWLTPFPAroadWLTPFPAyear_idweek_numgame_datecomb_wpctcomb_pt_diffwinner
197211060nwenwe25092220clt160941451972811/6/1972.214-12.8clt, 24-17
201310210nygnyg060103209min1401251582013710/21/2013.091-12.6NULL
197512150sdgsdg1110148282nyj39022137819751312/15/1975.167-12.1sdg, 24-16
199710200cltclt06088155buf3301221591997810/20/1997.250-8.7buf, 9-6
200001030atlatl4110251351sfo41102664191999171/3/2000.267-8.4atl, 34-29
201011290crdcrd370188292sfo37016021920101211/29/2010.300-8.2sfo, 27-6
199211300seasea110073218den74017520719921311/30/1992.364-8.0sea, 16-13
198310240crdcrd250137218nyg2501261561983810/24/1983.286-7.9tie (20-20)
201112120seasea570216246ram210014029620111412/12/2011.292-7.8sea, 30-13
201211260phiphi370162252car28018424320121211/26/2012.250-7.5car, 30-22
197011020pitpit2407194cin150931561970711/2/1970.250-7.2pit, 21-10
199112090miamia760256275cin211021137419911512/9/1991.346-7.0mia, 37-13
198010270nyjnyj160114164mia430991441980810/27/1980.357-6.8nyj, 17-14
201212170otioti490271386nyj67024530620121512/17/2012.385-6.8oti, 14-10
199911290sfosfo370163281gnb55019220919991211/29/1999.400-6.8gnb, 20-3
197910150nyjnyj240128174min3301071421979710/15/1979.417-6.8nyj, 14-7
200611130carcar440137163tam26010217320061011/13/2006.375-6.1car, 24-10
199411210otioti190147218nyg37017122019941211/21/1994.200-6.0nyg, 13-10
200611060seasea430149177rai250921482006911/6/2006.429-6.0sea, 16-0
199710270miamia520143124chi0701011991997910/27/1997.357-5.6chi, 36-33
197311260sfosfo370180232gnb35213819819731111/26/1973.350-5.6sfo, 20-6
199311290cltclt370154233sdg46016419519931311/29/1993.350-5.5sdg, 31-0
198312120tamtam2120212345gnb77039640719831512/12/1983.321-5.1gnb, 12-9
201211120pitpit530191164kan17013324020121011/12/2012.375-5.0pit, 16-13
200911160clecle17078209rav44020615420091011/16/2009.313-4.9rav, 16-0
200712100atlatl390171272nor57026627920071412/10/2007.333-4.8nor, 34-14
199910250pitpit33011793atl150741531999710/25/1999.333-4.6pit, 13-9
201211050nornor250190216phi3401201552012911/5/2012.357-4.4nor, 28-13
198110190detdet240118126chi150891331981710/19/1981.250-4.3det, 48-17
198011240nornor0110181341ram74029422819801211/24/1980.318-4.3ram, 27-7
197711210waswas540126132gnb2708315219771011/21/1977.389-4.2was, 10-9
199510230nwenwe15069160buf510136951995810/23/1995.500-4.2nwe, 27-14
200611270seasea640203219gnb46018525220061211/27/2006.500-4.2sea, 34-24
201112050jaxjax380138200sdg47024927520111312/5/2011.318-4.0sdg, 38-14
200412060seasea650239223dal47019328920041312/6/2004.455-3.6dal, 43-39
198711020daldal330135134nyg150991421987711/2/1987.333-3.5dal, 33-24
200711120seasea440167141sfo26010418620071011/12/2007.375-3.5sea, 24-0
199010220clecle24098139cin4201541531990710/22/1990.500-3.3cin, 34-13
201110310kankan330105150sdg4201411362011810/31/2011.583-3.3kan, 23-20
197811060cltclt360120230was72018613519781011/6/1978.556-3.3clt, 21-17
200711190denden450153238oti63017815220071111/19/2007.556-3.3den, 34-20
197012070otioti371177249cle56023623619701212/7/1970.386-3.3cle, 21-10
200511210gnbgnb270201184min45015422820051111/21/2005.333-3.2min, 20-17
200512190ravrav490171253gnb310025525520051512/19/2005.269-3.2rav, 48-3
200512120atlatl750277237nor39018329520051412/12/2005.417-3.0atl, 36-17
200211180ramram450194196chi27018223220021111/18/2002.333-2.9ram, 21-16
199410170denden140108146kan32090801994710/17/1994.400-2.8kan, 31-28
197211130sdgsdg251152203cle5301411341972911/13/1972.469-2.8cle, 21-17
197710310crdcrd330124122nyg330911261977710/31/1977.500-2.8crd, 28-0
200512260nyjnyj3110189298nwe95032228920051612/26/2005.429-2.7nwe, 31-21
{ 9 comments }

This guy was pretty good.

This guy was pretty good.

About a month ago, Chase & I developed a stat called True Receiving Yards, which seeks to put all modern & historical receiving seasons on equal footing by adjusting for the league’s passing YPG environment & schedule length, plus the amount the player’s team passed (it’s easier to produce raw receiving stats on a team that throws a lot), with bonuses thrown in for touchdowns and receptions. It’s not perfect — what single stat in a sport with so many moving parts is? — but it does a pretty good job of measuring receiving productivity across different seasons and across teams with passing games that operated at vastly different volumes.

Anyway, today’s post is basically a data dump to let everyone know we’ve extended TRY data back to 1950 (before, it was only computed for post-merger seasons). Here are the new all-time career leaders among players who debuted in 1950 or later (see below for a key to the column abbreviations):
[click to continue…]

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An interesting tweet from Adam Schefter today: Matt Ryan has 56 regular season wins in his first five seasons, the most in NFL history. Ryan has started 78 games, one of only three quarterbacks (Peyton Manning, Joe Flacco) to start at least 75 games in their first five seasons.

I thought it would be interesting to take a look at not just quarterback wins, but quarterback winning percentage (minimum: 15 wins) and wins minus losses (as a compromise between winning percentage and wins). As it turns out, Ryan ranks 1st in wins, 7th in winning percentage, and 1st in wins over losses (or wins over .500) among all quarterbacks to enter the league since 1960.

Quarterback1st YrWinLossTieStartsWin %W-LWin RkWin % RkW-L Rk
Daryle Lamonica19631710180.94416119116
Roger Staubach19692350280.8211871211
Ken Stabler19712051260.7881595319
Tom Brady200148140620.77434441
Jim McMahon198234120460.739222457
Ben Roethlisberger200451200710.71831363
Matt Ryan200856220780.71834171
Kurt Warner199935140490.7142120810
Dan Marino198348210690.69627495
Pat Haden197630131440.69317421013
Tony Romo200627120390.69215561119
Mike Tomczak19862090290.6911951232
Stan Humphries199031140450.68917351313
Philip Rivers200633150480.68818281411
Jay Fiedler199922100320.68812821429
Jack Kemp196029131430.68616481616
John Elway198346211680.684256176
Mark Rypien198842200620.677228187
Joe Flacco200854260800.675282194
Donovan McNabb199943210640.672227207
Doug Flutie19861680240.66781262143
Dave Krieg198119100290.65591032235
Brad Johnson19961580230.65271312350
David Woodley198030161470.64914422422
Jay Schroeder198531170480.64614352522
Elvis Grbac19951690250.6471262650
Vince Ferragamo19791690250.6471262650
Neil O'Donnell199139220610.63917142813
Vince Young200630170470.63813422925
Rex Grossman200319110300.63381033043
Terry Bradshaw197032190510.62713323125
Bernie Kosar198539231630.62716143216
Jim Harbaugh198823140370.6229713335
Michael Vick200131191510.61812353429
Steve Grogan197541260670.61215123519
Joe Namath196537234640.60914173622
Brett Favre199237240610.60713173725
Greg Landry196825162430.6059633835
Marc Bulger200236240600.612193929
Bert Jones197333220550.611283932
Ken Anderson197134230570.59611244132
Jake Delhomme199929200490.5929484235
Steve McNair199529200490.5929484235
Eli Manning200442290710.5921384425
Tony Eason198326180440.5918594543
Chad Pennington200220140340.5886954654
Mark Brunell199531220530.5859354735
Andy Dalton201118130310.58151134857
Eric Hipple198118130310.58151134857
Bobby Hebert198529210500.588485043
Randall Cunningham198530221530.5758425143
Joe Montana197928210490.5717535250
Jim Hart196724183450.5676665354
Boomer Esiason198435270620.5658205443
Jim Kelly198640310710.5639135535
Charley Johnson196226203490.5616595654
Drew Bledsoe199342330750.56985735
Troy Aikman198938300680.5598165843
John Hadl196223184450.5565715957
Virgil Carter196816130290.55231266064
Steve Beuerlein198818150330.54531136164
Gary Danielson197718150330.54531136164
Steve Walsh198919160350.54331036364
Kordell Stewart199723200430.5353716464
Ken O'Brien198431271590.5344356560
Mark Sanchez200933290620.5324286660
Jim Everett198634300640.5314246760
Joe Kapp196724213480.5313666764
Aaron Rodgers200817150320.53121196772
Scott Mitchell199317150320.53121196772
Brian Griese199927240510.5293567164
Quincy Carter200118160340.52921137172
Scott Hunter197117153350.52921197372
Roman Gabriel196219171370.52721037472
Matt Hasselbeck200120180380.5262957572
Mike Phipps197019172380.52621037572
Peyton Manning199842380800.525487760
Kyle Orton200532290610.5253327864
Byron Leftwich200324220460.5222667972
Drew Brees200230280580.5172428072
Bob Griese196729273590.5172488172
Ron Jaworski197517160330.51511198282
Aaron Brooks200035340690.5071208382
Jay Cutler200634340680.50248484
Doug Williams197833331670.50288484
Neil Lomax198130301610.50428484
Jon Kitna199724240480.50668484
Bill Kenney198023230460.50718484
Brian Sipe197422220440.50828484
Jeff Garcia199935360710.493-1209090
Carson Palmer200432330650.492-1329190
Joe Ferguson197331320630.492-1359290
Daunte Culpepper200028290570.491-1539390
Bob Avellini197523240470.489-1719490
Tommy Kramer197722240460.478-2829595
Kyle Boller200320220420.476-2959695
Trent Dilfer199431350660.47-4359799
Don Majkowski198721241460.467-3899897
Bubby Brister198621240450.467-3899997
Kerry Collins199526300560.464-45910099
Phil Simms197923270500.46-47110199
Tom Flores196023282530.453-571102103
Rodney Peete198921260470.447-589103103
David Whitehurst197716201370.446-412610499
Steve Bartkowski197522280500.44-682105106
Trent Green199822290510.431-782106107
Josh Freeman200924320560.429-866107111
Steve Fuller197915200350.429-5131107103
Dave M. Brown199420270470.426-795109107
Gus Frerotte199419261460.424-7103110107
Jason Campbell200627370640.422-1056111113
Derek Anderson200618250430.419-7113112107
Charlie Batch199819270460.413-8103113111
Tony Banks199625360610.41-1163114115
Jeff Blake199421310520.404-1089115113
Jim Zorn197628440720.389-1653116124
Dan Pastorini197121330540.389-1289116118
Warren Moon198426420680.382-1659118124
Alex Smith200519310500.38-12103119118
Jake Plummer199725410660.379-1663120124
Matthew Stafford200917280450.378-11119121115
Jim Plunkett197123380610.377-1571122121
Fran Tarkenton196123393650.377-1671123124
Tim Couch199922370590.373-1582124121
Rick Mirer199320340540.37-1495125120
Sam Bradford201015261420.369-11131126115
Richard Todd197619340530.358-15103127121
Chris Miller198720360560.357-1695128124
Joey Harrington200223430660.348-2071129130
Mike Pagel198215311470.33-16131130124
Vinny Testaverde198719390580.328-20103131130
Jeff George199021440650.323-2389132132
Norm Snead196117413610.303-24119133133
David Carr200222530750.293-3182134135
Archie Manning197115433610.27-28131135134

Of course, having a good (or bad) winning percentage early in a quarterback’s career doesn’t tell us how much of a “winner” that quarterback will be in the future.

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(I originally posted this at the S-R Blog, but I thought it would be very appropriate here as well.)

Here is a google doc containing every team-season in our database since 1957, including the Head Coach and offensive & defensive coordinators. It also specifies those coaches’ preferred offensive or defensive schemes (depending on which side of the ball they specialize in), and attempts to figure out the general offensive family (i.e. Air Coryell, Erhardt-Perkins, etc) each team-season fell into.

THIS IS BY NO MEANS COMPLETE. In fact, it’s very much incomplete at this stage — and that’s where you come in. In the comments of this post, or in an email, we’d love to hear corrections and/or additions to the data, if you see an entry about which you know more than we do (and it’s a good bet you do). Thanks in advance for your help, and hopefully we can assemble a more complete listing of teams’ systems/schemes, which will let us do things like compute splits vs. a certain type of offense or defense, analyze whether 4-3 or 3-4 defenses were better in a given season, etc.

So let those corrections/additions pour in!

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Long-time commenter Richie has been kind enough to create an Elo Ranking System where users can rank each of the 32 teams in the NFL. He’s hosting it on his site, but has come up with a Football Perspective-sounding url for us:

http://footballperspective.tooshay.us/teamrate.php

You can read more about how Elo Rankings work here, but the beauty is in its simplicity. All you need to do is answer one question: is Team A or Team B going to be better in 2013?

Vote early and often. The more results, the better. And please share with your friends. It will be fun to see what the wisdom of crowds tells us about team strength as we gear up for the 2013 season.

And a big thanks again to Richie for doing all the legwork!

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