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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College Quarterback Passing Stats From 2013

March 18, 2014 College

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that it’s 2014. With draft season now in full gear, I wanted to take a few minutes and look at the stats of the top college quarterbacks from last year. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. I couldn’t find a site that presented a full list of all college quarterback […]

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Comparing The Stats Of Terry Bradshaw And Kurt Warner

March 5, 2014 History

Terry Bradshaw finished his career with 212 touchdowns, 210 interceptions and a 70.9 passer rating. Kurt Warner threw 208 touchdowns against only 128 interceptions, and his 93.7 passer rating ranks 8th in NFL history and 2nd among retired players. But Bradshaw played from 1970 to 1982, while Warner played from 1998 to 2009. As a […]

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The Contrasting Statistical Profiles of Geno Smith and Mike Glennon

February 17, 2014 Passing

We were very spoiled last year. Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson had outstanding rookie seasons in 2012, and perhaps that set expectations a bit high for the 2013 class. No one will confuse those three with EJ Manuel, Geno Smith, and Mike Glennon, all of whom struggled for most of their rookie […]

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Where Does Luck/Smith Rank Among Great Playoff QB Battles?

February 10, 2014 Passing

The NFL playoffs began in very entertaining fashion in Indianapolis. The Chiefs lost Jamaal Charles on the first drive of the game to a concussion, but stormed out to a 38-10 lead. Then the Colts pulled off the second greatest comeback in NFL history, eventually winning 45-44. The much-maligned Alex Smith had the game of […]

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The Best Playoff Quarterbacks In The Super Bowl Era

January 28, 2014 Passing

On Friday, I explained the idea behind Playoff Leverage. That post is required reading before diving in today, but the summary is that the Super Bowl counts for more than the conference championship games, which count for more than the division round games, which count for more than the wild card games. The value that […]

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With a Super Bowl Win, Manning 2013 Will Be The Greatest QB Season Ever

January 20, 2014 Passing

In 1984, Dan Marino set an NFL record with 48 touchdown passes, but his Dolphins lost in the Super Bowl. Twenty years later, Peyton Manning broke Marino’s record, but he lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Patriots in the playoffs. In 2007, Tom Brady broke Manning’s touchdowns record, but he lost in the Super […]

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Wildcard Preview: Kansas City at Indianapolis

January 3, 2014 Current Events

Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) (Pick’em) at Indianapolis Colts (13-3), Saturday 4:35PM ET Among the four games this weekend, this one figures to be the most competitive: I would be surprised if this isn’t a one possession game in the fourth quarter. The Colts rank 13th in Football Outsiders DVOA, courtesy of the 13th-ranked offense, the […]

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2013 Team NY/A and ANY/A Differential Data

December 30, 2013 Checkdowns

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 […]

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Ryan Tannehill had one of the worst passing games ever

December 28, 2013 History

Did you happen to notice the stat line produced by Ryan Tannehill last week? He completed just 10 of 27 passes for only 82 yards in a 19-0 loss to the Bills. A 37% completion rate and a 3.0 yards per attempt average are ugly numbers in their own right, but Tannehill was also sacked […]

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More Impressive Passing TD Record: Manning 2013 or Marino 1984?

December 26, 2013 History

With one game remaining, Peyton Manning has already set the new single-season record with 51 passing touchdowns (two months ago, I projected Manning to finish the season with 52 touchdowns). But all records must be viewed in their environment, and NFL teams are averaging 1.58 touchdown passes per team game this year, the highest average […]

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Eli Manning in elite INT territory

December 20, 2013 History

After a five-interception performance against a dominant Seattle pass defense, Eli Manning now has 25 interceptions this season. The odds are extremely low, but it’s not impossible that he throws ten more interceptions and ties the modern record set by Vinny Testaverde in 1988. That year, a 25-year-old Testaverde threw 35 interceptions when the league […]

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Analyzing every Joe Flacco interception this year

November 26, 2013 Passing

Over the course of his six-year career, Joe Flacco has generally done an excellent job at avoiding interceptions. Remember that quarterbacks are much more likely to be intercepted on deep passes, and Flacco tends to throw deep. Flacco has the 5th highest average length of pass this year according to NFLGSIS, after ranking 3rd in […]

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Net Yards per Attempt Analysis and Week 7 Average Field Position Data

October 25, 2013 Passing

It’s Friday, so I thought it might be fun to play around with some stats.  Net Yards per Attempt is probably my favorite predictive statistic to measure quarterbacks, but there are some problems with even that metric.  One issue is that Net Yards per Attempt — which is simply yards per attempt but includes sacks […]

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Where Does Manning/Romo Rank Among Great QB Games?

October 7, 2013 Passing

Peyton Manning and Tony Romo staged a classic yesterday afternoon in Dalllas. The Broncos won 51-48, and the two quarterbacks put up ridiculous stat lines. Manning went 33 of 42 for 414 yards, and threw four touchdowns and just one interception. He wasn’t sacked, giving him an impressive 10.69 ANY/A average (based on the formula […]

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How Likely Is Peyton Manning To Break The Single-Season TD Record? Part I

October 6, 2013 Passing

Sometimes, the simplest questions have the most complicated answers. Peyton Manning has thrown 16 touchdowns so far this season, putting him on pace for 64 touchdowns this year. Now, we can be reasonably sure that Manning’s true ability level — even with Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Julius Thomas — isn’t four touchdowns […]

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The Most Inexperienced/Least Accomplished Receiving Corps Ever

September 21, 2013 Data Dump

As Jason Lisk and I wrote about before the season, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger have become something of the poster children so far this year when it comes to veteran QBs working with inexperienced and otherwise less-than-notable receiving groups. And, lo and behold, each has put up career-low RANY/A marks through 2 games. But […]

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What the Week 1 Passing Records Mean for 2013

September 14, 2013 History

In week 1, records were set for the most passing touchdowns (63) and team passing yards (8143) thrown in a single week in league history. Is this a sign that 2013 will represent the next stage in the evolution in the passing game, or are offenses typically ahead of defenses early on? To compare week […]

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The Ebb and Flow of the NFL Passing Game Since 1932

September 6, 2013 History

The game played by Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco last night bears little resemblance to the game Sammy Baugh played. Teams pass much more frequently and efficiently than ever before. And there are external effects, too: In 2011 and 2012, the average carry went for 4.3 yards, the first two years the average has ever […]

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WOWY: Which Receivers Elevate Their Quarterbacks the Most?

September 5, 2013 G.O.A.T.

In 1998, 21-year-old Randy Moss made a stunning NFL debut, racking up 17 touchdowns and 1,260 True Receiving Yards, the 2nd-best total in football that season. The Vikings’ primary quarterback that year, Randall Cunningham, was a former Pro Bowler and MVP, but all that seemed like a lifetime ago before the ’98 season. He’d been […]

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John Elway: The Quarterback Version of Dick Butkus

September 3, 2013 History

The consensus view on John Elway is clear. He was the greatest draft prospect ever, a league MVP, a two-time Super Bowl champion, a Hall of Famer, and one of the most clutch quarterbacks in football history. But that’s not necessarily what the numbers say. In my quarterback ranking system, which rewards efficiency and longevity […]

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Witnesses to Greatness: Aaron Rodgers Edition

August 30, 2013 History

Let’s be honest: we all know Aaron Rodgers is great, so we don’t spend much time talking about him. Debating his ability is pointless, so we instead spend countless hours discussing Tony Romo’s intangibles, Tim Tebow’s throwing motion, Colin Kaepernick’s tattoos, and Joe Flacco’s eliteness. Talk radio dies when it discusses Aaron Rodgers: debating the […]

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The Biggest Fluke Fantasy Seasons Ever (Part II)

August 10, 2013 Fantasy

Yesterday, I set up a method for ranking the flukiest fantasy football seasons since the NFL-AFL merger, finding players who had elite fantasy seasons that were completely out of step with the rest of their careers. I highlighted fluke years #21-30, so here’s a recap of the rankings thus far: 30. Lorenzo White, 1992 29. […]

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Is Sam Bradford poised to to have a breakout season?

August 8, 2013 Passing

Since Sam Bradford was drafted by the Rams in 2010, the only consistent force in St. Louis has been change. Tackle Rodger Saffold, drafted in the second round of the same draft, is the only other player on the 2010 Rams offense who is still on the team. Bradford has already played under three offensive […]

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Another Quarterback Aging Curve Post (Adjusted Net Yards Per Attempt Edition)

August 6, 2013 Passing

Back in March, Chase wrote a post investigating how quarterbacks age, finding that they peak at age 29 (with a generalized peak from 26-30) in terms of value over average. Today, I thought I’d quickly look at how quarterbacks age in terms of their performance rate — specifically, their Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt (ANY/A). […]

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Who Will Lead the NFL in Passing Yards from 2013 to 2022?

August 4, 2013 History

Most of you know that counting stats mean little for quarerbacks, but most of you also know that nothing beats meaningless trivia. Last July, I wondered who would lead the NFL in rushing yards from 2012 to 2021? It took a year, but now the natural follow-up question: Who will lead the NFL in passing […]

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Having the worst game of your career in the playoffs

July 26, 2013 Passing

Scott Kacsmar recently wrote about how Daunte Culpepper had the worst performance of his career in his biggest game. In his only NFC Championship Game appearance, Culpepper went 13-of-28 for 78 yards with three interceptions and four sacks. Which made me wonder: how many other great quarterbacks have had their worst game in the playoffs? […]

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Yards per Carry, Net Yards per Attempt, and Regression to the Mean

July 20, 2013 Passing

Last week, I wrote about why I was not concerned with Trent Richardson’s yards per carry average last season. I like using rushing yards because rush attempts themselves are indicators of quality, although it’s not like I think yards per carry is useless — just overrated. One problem with YPC is that it’s not very […]

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Matt Stafford has a 17-28 record, which has little predictive value

July 18, 2013 Data Dump

Longtime readers of this blog know that I’m not a big fan of Matt Stafford. Last year, when most people were praising his breakout 2011 season, I questioned whether he was as good as his backers claimed. And, of course, his 2012 performance only raised more questions. Stafford has a 17-28 career record, which in […]

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Tweaking the NFL’s Passer Rating Formula

July 17, 2013 Passing

I hate passer rating. So do you. Everyone does, except for Kerry Byrne. Passer rating is stupid because it gives a 20-yard bonus for each completion, a 100-yard penalty for each interception, and an 80-yard bonus for each touchdown. In reality, there should be no (or a very small) weight on completions, a 45-yard weight […]

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