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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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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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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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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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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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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How Bad Was Ray Rice in 2013?

March 15, 2014 Rushing

The 2013 season was a disaster for Ray Rice, and 2014 isn’t off to a very good start, either. Last season, Rice carried 214 times for just 660 yards and four touchdowns, producing an anemic 3.1 yards per carry average. On November 9th, I asked whether Rice was already washed up; at the time it […]

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What do Geno Smith’s Final Four Starts Mean For 2014?

March 4, 2014 Quarterbacks

In Geno Smith’s first 12 NFL starts, he completed 179 of 327 passes (54.7%) for 2,256 yards, with 8 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Those numbers translate to a 6.9 yards per attempt average, quite respectable for a rookie, and a 4.8 Adjusted Yards per Attempt average, abysmal for anybody. But over the last four weeks […]

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Projecting Team Wins Using DVOA

February 17, 2014 Statistics

For a decade, Football Outsiders has been using advanced analytics to measure and predict team performance. And since the Football Outsiders database now goes back to 1989, I thought it would be worthwhile to test the predictive power of Football Outsiders’ ratings. If you’re not familiar, FO uses DVOA as its base measure of team […]

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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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Adrian Peterson’s 2012 Season Lacked Some Juice

February 14, 2014 Rushing

When I went on the Advanced NFL Stats Podcast in late December, I discussed my use of Z-scores to measure the Seattle pass defense. Host Dave Collins asked me if I was planning on using Z-scores to measure other things, like say, Adrian Peterson’s 2012 season. I told him that would be an interesting idea […]

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Pythagenpat Records in 2013

February 11, 2014 Statgeekery

For years, sports analysts have used Pythagorean records as more granular measure of team strength than pure record. We’re not exactly at the point where Pythagorean records are mainstream, but I think, at least with respect to readers of this blog, people are pretty comfortable using Pythagorean records. For the uninitiated, the use of Pythagorean […]

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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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Tallest and Shortest Wide Receiver Groups Since 1950

February 8, 2014 Receiving

Yesterday, I looked at the average height of the receivers of each team in the NFL in 2013. Today, we’ll use the same method but look at every NFL team since 1950. As it turns out, the 2013 Bears rank as one of the third tallest group of receivers in history. The only thing Chicago […]

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Which Teams Have the Tallest and Shortest Targets?

February 7, 2014 Receiving

In Marc Trestman’s first year as head coach, the Chicago Bears quickly turned into one of the most explosive offenses in football. Even after losing Jay Cutler, backup quarterback Josh McCown came in and seamlessly executed Trestman’s offense. Chicago ranked in the top 5 in passing yards, passing touchdowns, net yards per pass attempt and […]

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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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The NFC West Won 75% of Non-Division Games

January 23, 2014 History

It was a very good year for the NFC West. Seattle is heading to Super Bowl XLVIII, as king of the best division in football. To get to MetLife Stadium, the Seahawks had to defeat the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, which is only fitting after the scorched-earth run by the division during the […]

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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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Marvin Harrison Should Be A First-Ballot Hall of Famer

January 14, 2014 HOF

In a couple of weeks, the newest class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be announced. Only five modern-era wide receivers have been selected enshrinement on their first ballot: Jerry Rice, Paul Warfield, Steve Largent, Raymond Berry, and Lance Alworth. This year, in his first year of eligibility, Marvin Harrison is one of […]

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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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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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Putting the 2013 Seahawks Pass Defense in Perspective

January 7, 2014 Defense

After 15 weeks, I wrote that Seattle’s pass defense looked to be one of the most dominant since the merger. With the regular season now over, and the Seahawks getting ready for their first playoff game, I wanted to revisit this question and slightly tweak the methodology. We begin with the base statistic to measure […]

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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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Final 2013 Game Scripts And Pass Identity Data

January 3, 2014 Current Events

Every week this season, I’ve written about the Game Scripts from the previous weekend. For new readers, the term Game Script is just shorthand for the average points differential for a team over every second of each game. You can check out the updated Game Scripts page, which shows the results of all 256 games […]

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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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The Jets are 7-8, but have the points differential of a 4.5 win team

December 22, 2013 Coaches

The Jets beat the Browns 24-13 today, bringing New York’s record up to 7-8. With Rex Ryan on the hot seat — more on this in a few hours — some have defended the controversial head coach by lauding his work this season. After all, if the Jets are one of the least talented teams […]

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Week 15 Game Scripts – The Real Cowboys Show Up

December 19, 2013 Current Events

Something just didn’t feel right. Here is what I wrote in last week’s column: Through 12 weeks, the Cowboys had the strongest pass identity in the NFL. Then, against the Raiders in week 13, the Cowboys were pretty run-heavy. And against the Bears in week 14, Dallas produced its best game of the season on […]

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The Cowboys Are 32nd in Yards Differential – What Does That Mean?

December 15, 2013 Current Events

Dallas has been out-gained by 1,280 yards this season, the worst margin in the NFL. But with a 7-6 record, the Cowboys are hardly considered a bad team. So how can we reconcile these two facts? In general, gaining yards and preventing opponents from gaining yards are correlated with success. The other teams in the […]

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Week 14 Game Scripts

December 12, 2013 Current Events

Last week, six teams won with a negative Game Script. During an unforgettable slate of 1PM games in week 14, four teams during that time slot won with a negative Game Script — and that doesn’t include the insane Ravens/Vikings game.  One of the teams to win with a negative Game Script was Miami, so […]

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