One Play Away

March 10, 2014 History

Football Perspective accepts guest posts, and Andrew Healy submitted the following post. And it’s outstanding. Andrew Healy is an economics professor at Loyola Marymount University. He is a big fan of the New England Patriots and Joe Benigno. The Catch. The Immaculate Reception. The Fumble. We remember all these plays, but which mattered the most? […]

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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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Super Bowl Leverage And the Best Postseason Passers Since 1966

January 24, 2014 G.O.A.T.

Even for Football Perspective, this is a very math-heavy post. I’ve explained all the dirty work and fine details behind this system, but if you want to skip to the results section, I’ll understand. Heck, it might even make more sense to start there and then work your way back to the top. Background In […]

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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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Super Bowl Metrics

January 19, 2014 History

The table below shows each Super Bowl champion since 1970 and its rank in various categories. At the top, I’ve included an average of the ranks of the teams over the last 10 years and since 1970, and each team is hyperlinked to its Pro-Football-Reference team page. The categories in this first table are record, […]

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Championship Game Preview: San Francisco at Seattle

January 17, 2014 Current Events

It’s Carroll-Harbaugh X! Okay, the Whats Your Deal Bowl may not have quite the hype of Brady/Manning XV, but don’t tell that to folks on the West Coast. Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh are longtime rivals who have managed to alienate 31 other fanbases in the NFL. For the record, Harbaugh holds a 6-3 record […]

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The Division Round Gives Us The Championship Round We Want

January 13, 2014 Current Events

By all accounts, this was an underwhelming quartet of games played on The Best Weekend in Football. Last year, the division round gave us an incredible Russell Wilson comeback where the Seahawks scored three fourth quarter touchdowns before falling short against the Falcons and the Peyton Manning-Joe Flacco-Rahim Moore classic. Seattle won this year but […]

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Division Preview: San Diego at Denver

January 12, 2014 Current Events

I’m not going to do it again. This time last year, I thought I wrote a very good preview of the Denver/Baltimore game. I looked at both teams, decided that Denver was much, much better, and ended with this: I think it’s best not to over think this one. Prediction: Denver 31, Baltimore 13 A […]

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Division Preview: San Francisco at Carolina

January 11, 2014 Current Events

At least 400 total yards were gained in every game this season. When Nick Foles threw 7 touchdowns against the Raiders, Oakland actually out-gained Philadelphia, and the two teams combined for a season-high 1,102 yards that day. On the other end of the spectrum was San Francisco/Carolina I, when the two teams combined for just […]

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Division Preview: Indianapolis at New England

January 10, 2014 Current Events

When it comes Patriots/Colts, it’s easy to want to focus on Tom Brady vs. Andrew Luck. Or to marvel at the sheer number of star players these teams have lost in the last 12 months. If you played college in the state of Florida, you’re probably not going to be playing in this game: T.Y. […]

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Division Preview: New Orleans at Seattle

January 10, 2014 Current Events

On the surface, this does not appear to be a very even matchup. In home games in 2013, Seattle outscored opponents by 15.4 points per game, an average that includes the loss to Arizona. In road games during the regular season, the Saints were outscored by 4.6 points per game. Both of those averages, of […]

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Guest Post: Projecting Pass/Run Ratios in Division Round

January 9, 2014 Playoffs

Steve Buzzard has agreed to write another guest post for us. And I think it’s a very good one. Steve is a lifelong Colts fan and long time fantasy football aficionado. He spends most of his free time applying advanced statistical techniques to football to better understand the game he loves and improve his prediction […]

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Penalty Rates Are Down In The Playoffs

January 8, 2014 Playoffs

Did notice the lack of yellow flags this weekend? In the first round of the 2013 playoffs, just 31 penalties were called over four games, a 7.75 per-game average. That’s the lowest per-game average from any week this season, and the 63.25 penalty yards assessed also represent the floor on a per-game basis for any […]

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A Monte Carlo-Based Comparison of College Football Playoff Systems

January 6, 2014 College

Love the Bowl Championship Series or (more likely) hate it, tonight marks the end of college football’s 16-year BCS experiment. Designed to bring some measure of order to the chaotic state college football had been in under the Bowl Alliance/Coalition, the BCS did streamline the process of determining a national champion — though it was […]

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Checkdowns: Division Round Results From 1990-2012

January 5, 2014 Checkdowns

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 […]

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Wildcard Preview: San Francisco at Green Bay

January 5, 2014 Current Events

After the projections for most of the week was below-zero weather, the latest reports indicates that by kickoff, the temperature in Green Bay should be in the single digits. The temperature of a game is more open to interpretation than you think: in a lot of the games below, there are different reports depending on […]

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Wildcard Preview: San Diego at Cincinnati

January 5, 2014 Current Events

Every few years, a team like the 2013 Chargers makes the playoffs. This season, San Diego’s offense ranked 3rd in Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt, while the defense ranked 3rd to last in the same metric. And these teams, without exception, have flamed out in the playoffs. The Chargers also ranked 2nd in NY/A and […]

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Insane Idea: Spotting Points in the Playoffs

January 4, 2014 Insane Ideas

One of my favorite sabermetric baseball articles of all time was written by Sky Andrecheck in 2010 — part as a meditation on the purpose/meaning of playoffs, and part as a solution for some of the thorny logical concerns that arise from said mediation. The basic conundrum for Andrecheck revolved around the very existence of […]

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Wildcard Preview: New Orleans at Philadelphia

January 4, 2014 Current Events

Kansas City/Indianapolis Preview New Orleans Saints (11-5) (+2.5) at Philadelphia Eagles (10-6), Saturday 8:10 PM ET We’re fully immune to the Saints offense at this point. Drew Brees just threw for for 5,162 yards and 39 touchdowns and it didn’t even register on most radars. One reason for that: both of those numbers represent three-year […]

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New York Times: Post-Week 17, 2013

January 1, 2014 Current Events

In my final article of the year at the New York Times, I look at one key statistic for each team. Denver Broncos: Quarterback Curse Can Peyton Manning break the hex? Only four quarterbacks — Tom Brady (2007), Rich Gannon (2002), Kurt Warner (2001) and Dan Marino (1984) — have played in a Super Bowl […]

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The Manning Index (and The Brady Effect)

January 23, 2013 Data Dump

Eight years ago — almost to the day — our old PFR colleague Doug Drinen wrote a Sabernomics post about “The Manning Index”, a metric designed to roughly gauge the clutchness (or chokeitude) of a given quarterback by looking at how he did relative to expectations (he revived this concept in version two, six years […]

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