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Megatron at his best

Megatron at his best.

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

What is a weighted average of team pass attempts? I’m defining it as an average of pass attempts per season weighted by the number of receiving yards by that player. Why use that instead of a simple average? When thinking about whether a receiver played for a run-heavy or pass-happy team, we tend to think of that receiver during his peak years. If he caught 10 passes for 150 yards as a rookie on a very pass-happy team, that should not be given the same weight as the number of pass attempts his team produced in his best season. For example, here is how I derived the 635 attempt number for Megatron.

Twenty-one percent of his career receiving yards came in 2012, when Detroit passed 740 times (excluding sacks). Therefore, 21% of his team pass attempts average comes from that season, while 18% comes from his 2011 season, 16% from his 2013 season, and so on. In the table below, the far right column shows how we get to that 635 figure: by multiplying in each season the percentage of career receiving yards recorded by him in that season by Detroit’s Team Pass Attempts.

YrRecYdTPAPercTM * %
2013149263416%101.4
2012196474021.1%155.8
2011168166618%120
2010112063312%76
200998458510.5%61.7
2008133150914.3%72.6
20077565878.1%47.6
Total93284354100%635.2

There are 121 players with 7,000 career receiving yards. Unsurprisingly, Johnson has the highest weighted average number of team pass attempts, which must be recognized when fawning over his great raw totals. Marques Colston is just a hair behind Johnson, but no other player has an average of 600+ team pass attempts.

The table below contains data for all 121 players (by default, the table displays only the top 25, but you can change that). Here’s how to read it, starting with the GOAT: Jerry Rice ranks first in career receiving yards, and he played from 1985 to 2004. Rice played in 303 games, gained 22,895 receiving yards, and his teams threw a weighted average of 547 passes per season. Among these 121 players, that rank Rice as playing for the 25th highest or most pass-happy team. Rice also averaged 76 receiving yards per game, which ranks 5th among this group. [click to continue…]

{ 17 comments }

The off-season is here.

But Football Perspective isn’t going anywhere. I prefer off-season writing to in-season writing, as football theory and history is more compelling to me than figuring out whether to rank the Lions ahead of the Bills. At the old Pro-Football-Reference Blog, we did some of our best work in the off-season, and I hope for the same results here.

Evan Silva just published a great piece detailing what each team needs in the off-season, but you’re not going to find that type of article here in the off-season. I will have some draft articles, but I don’t intend on staying topical all that often. My first big off-season project is to come up with a wide receiver ranking system.

I won’t bore you with all the details yet, but I think grading wide receivers (or for that matter, receiving tight ends) is much, much more complicated than people realize. I hope you guys are excited to participate the discussion, as I am in the early stages of this project and will go where the research takes me. One possible result I envision: the ultimate wide receiver ranking system does not exist, but a series of four or five ranking systems might give us the complete picture of a wide receiver.

Let me start with a question: which team had a better passing offense last year, Houston or Detroit? For now, try to ignore what we saw out of Matt Schaub in the post-season and just focus on the regular season results.
[click to continue…]

{ 35 comments }

Moss makes turkeys out of the Cowboys

Moss was very good when his teams won.

Last weekend, I looked at career rushing stats in wins and losses, and yesterday, I did the same for quarterbacks. Today we will check out the splits for receivers.

I looked at all games, including playoffs, from 1960 to 2011, for all players with at least 4,000 receiving yards over that time period. The table below lists the following information for each player:

– His first year (or 1960, if he played before 1960) and his last year (or 2011, if still active)
– All the franchises he played for (which you can search for in the search box)
– His number of career wins, and his career receptions, receiving yards, yards per reception, and receiving yards per game in wins
– His number of career losses, and his career receptions, receiving yards, yards per reception, and receiving yards per game in losses

You might be surprised to see Andre Johnson at the top of the list, but his career average should decline the longer he plays; that said, 2012 didn’t drop his numbers. On the flip side, Calvin Johnson moves up into the #2 slot; part of that was due to a great season (although Detroit didn’t get many wins) and part of that was due to Randy Moss slipping. Larry Fitzgerald comes up high on the list for the same reason as both Johnsons, although it’s often easy to forget how great Fitzgerald can be thanks to his current situation.

The table is sorted by receiving yards per game in wins:

RkPlayerYearsTeamsPosWinRec_WYd_WYPR_WY/G_WLossRec_LYd_LYPR_LY/G_L
1Andre Johnson2003--2011htxWR52325473914.5891.172394511812.9971.1
2Randy Moss1998--2010min-rai-nwe-otiWR114597996016.6887.493404576314.2662
3Michael Irvin1988--1999dalWR106560913316.3186.262277408614.7565.9
4Larry Fitzgerald2004--2011crdWR59352502114.2685.171383529913.8474.6
5Calvin Johnson2007--2011detWR23113192917.0783.954265415415.6876.9
6Lance Alworth1962--1972sdg-dalFL-WR83360687219.0982.842172309417.9973.7
7Jerry Rice1985--2004sfo-rai-seaWR20710991690915.3981.7118598817313.6769.3
8Art Powell1960--1968nyj-rai-buf-minSE-WR51244416017.0581.645215347716.1777.3
9Jimmy Smith1995--2005jaxWR96512782915.2981.680390510513.0963.8
10Torry Holt1999--2009ram-jaxWR93486741615.2679.789481659613.7174.1
11Charley Hennigan1960--1966otiWR44209350116.7579.640201321315.9980.3
12Steve Smith2001--2011carWR75390589815.1278.684356516214.561.5
13Del Shofner1960--1967ram-nygE41165321319.4778.43186122414.2339.5
14Dwayne Bowe2007--2011kanWR25118194816.5177.949238297912.5260.8
15Don Maynard1960--1973nyj-crdWR-HB79298615020.6477.876305509116.6967
16Terrell Owens1996--2010sfo-phi-dal-buf-cinWR1316551012715.4677.395477655813.7569
17Marvin Harrison1996--2008cltWR125723964913.3577.281444581413.0971.8
18Sterling Sharpe1988--1994gnbWR52292393713.4875.762314442614.171.4
19DeSean Jackson2008--2011phiWR39149293419.6975.22593136414.6754.6
20Wesley Walker1977--1989nyjWR73272548520.1775.171185319517.2745
21Herman Moore1991--2001detWR63314471215.0174.877383493612.8964.1
22Charlie Brown1982--1987was-atlWR42177313417.7174.62171101414.2848.3
23Sonny Randle1960--1968crd-sfo-dalE-WR45178333018.717445155218714.1148.6
24Greg Jennings2006--2011gnbWR61279449316.173.734151224314.8566
25Reggie Wayne2001--2011cltWR122639893813.9973.363306389812.7461.9
26John Jefferson1978--1985sdg-gnb-cleWR54238395316.6173.244131209115.9647.5
27Terry Glenn1996--2007nwe-gnb-dalWR793795686157261246357414.5358.6
28Darnay Scott1994--2002cin-dalWR40171285216.6871.377237334114.143.4
29Buddy Dial1960--1966pit-dalSE-FL35112249422.2771.331110205018.6466.1
30Isaac Bruce1994--2009ram-sfoWR114529811915.3571.2110539784814.5671.3
31Gary Clark1985--1995was-crd-miaWR107484760915.7271.166273407314.9261.7
32Carl Pickens1992--2000cin-otiWR39212274612.9570.484328438313.3652.2
33Homer Jones1964--1970nyg-cleSE-WR3291224024.627047131257319.6454.7
34Marques Colston2006--2011norWR61313426013.6169.832181260814.4181.5
35Cris Carter1987--2002phi-min-miaWR132701918513.169.6101463558412.0655.3
36Al Toon1985--1992nyjWR48251333613.2969.558287355112.3761.2
37Anquan Boldin2003--2011crd-ravWR65332448213.56967405518812.8177.4
38Pete Retzlaff1960--1966phiWR-TE42155288918.6468.842181280715.5166.8
39Chad Ochocinco2001--2011cin-nweWR74350508414.5368.789419604914.4468
40Steve Largent1976--1989seaWR99419679716.2268.7106423672615.963.5
41Raymond Berry1960--1967cltE57263391114.8768.632149197813.2861.8
42Gary Garrison1966--1977sdg-otiWR-SE55192376419.668.463201355717.756.5
43Darrell Jackson2000--2008sea-sfo-denWR61282414714.716863258348813.5255.4
44Mike Quick1982--1990phiWR39142264518.6367.857216366416.9664.3
45James Lofton1978--1993gnb-rai-buf-ram-phiWR109395738718.767.8115402725418.0463.1
46Rob Moore1990--1999nyj-crdWR59269399814.8667.894374557214.959.3
47Fred Barnett1990--1997phi-miaWR59243397716.3767.438136166812.2643.9
48Kellen Winslow1979--1987sdgTE58320390812.2167.455249321312.958.4
49George Sauer1965--1970nyjSE-WR45172301917.5567.130137197714.4365.9
50Joe Horn1996--2007kan-nor-atlWR71319473914.8666.777285405514.2352.7
51Otis Taylor1965--1974kanWR-FL75265498518.8166.541146232315.9156.7
52Mark Duper1983--1992miaWR88324583918.0266.455219362516.5565.9
53Bob Hayes1965--1975dal-sfoSE-WR87268567921.1965.341126212816.8951.9
54Steve Watson1979--1987denWR63223411218.4465.339147231415.7459.3
55Roddy White2005--2011atlWR62296403213.626553256353513.8166.7
56Rod Smith1995--2006denWR121575786513.686564323438413.5768.5
57Flipper Anderson1988--1995ram-cltWR3499220422.2664.858175332318.9957.3
58Eddie Brown1985--1991cinWR53175343119.6164.751197280214.2254.9
59Wes Welker2004--2011sdg-mia-nweWR86509555410.9164.645194211010.8846.9
60Derrick Alexander1994--2002cle-rav-kan-minWR48167309218.5164.469251390915.5756.7
61Andre Reed1985--2000buf-wasWR134599862114.3964.3106437580613.2954.8
62Antonio Gates2003--2011sdgTE80375512413.6664.153257310812.0958.6
63Wes Chandler1978--1988nor-sdg-sfoWR61234389416.6463.884348541915.5764.5
64Anthony Miller1988--1997sdg-den-dalWR71272451216.5963.582332477314.3858.2
65Al Denson1964--1971den-minWR-TE2589158117.7663.24916326081653.2
66Antonio Freeman1995--2003gnb-phiWR95375597815.9462.941155209613.5251.1
67Lee Evans2004--2011buf-ravWR51174320318.4162.867211287413.6242.9
68Plaxico Burress2000--2011pit-nyg-nyjWR95385592315.3862.357202296914.752.1
69Santana Moss2001--2011nyj-wasWR74285460616.1662.288387496312.8256.4
70Brandon Marshall2006--2011den-miaWR43214267612.562.248280357112.7574.4
71Keyshawn Johnson1996--2006nyj-tam-dal-carWR92447569112.7361.982406544913.4266.5
72Joey Galloway1995--2010sea-dal-tam-nwe-wasWR85321520516.2161.2107393590415.0255.2
73Muhsin Muhammad1996--2009car-chiWR105477640713.436196413558913.5358.2
74Henry Ellard1983--1998ram-was-nweWR99343604017.6161125492807916.4264.6
75Tommy McDonald1960--1968phi-dal-ram-atl-cleWR-HB49166297917.9560.861222349315.7357.3
76Anthony Carter1985--1995min-detWR80293485316.5660.762233353515.1757
77Art Monk1980--1995was-nyj-phiWR142631860913.6460.695378517413.6954.5
78Red Phillips1960--1967ram-minE2494145515.4860.653214314714.7159.4
79Roger Carr1974--1983clt-sea-sdgWR40110242522.0560.660163268116.4544.7
80Paul Flatley1963--1970min-atlWR-FL34117206117.6260.655179274215.3249.9
81David Boston1999--2005crd-sdg-miaWR27109162614.9260.247206307314.9265.4
82Ernest Givins1986--1995oti-jaxWR75320451614.1160.280311447314.3855.9
83Dwight Clark1979--1987sfoWR81343487214.260.146216264812.2657.6
84Santonio Holmes2006--2011pit-nyjWR57211342516.2360.138152221214.5558.2
85Paul Warfield1964--1977cle-miaWR-SE115340689220.2759.947132249718.9253.1
86Laveranues Coles2000--2009nyj-was-cinWR71323425313.1759.981378463812.2757.3
87Jimmy Orr1960--1970pit-cltWR73219437219.9659.938119211917.8155.8
88Elbert Dubenion1960--1967bufWR-HB53159317219.9559.842127207516.3449.4
89Ken Burrough1970--1981nor-otiWR67222397717.9159.480204323015.8340.4
90Stephone Paige1983--1991kanWR57180336118.675963203308915.2249
91Todd Christensen1980--1988raiTE-FB66306388812.7158.941186234212.5957.1
92Louis Lipps1984--1992pit-norWR48169282716.7358.963204337616.5553.6
93Jeff Graham1991--2001pit-chi-nyj-phi-sdgWR57222334515.0758.785335506415.1259.6
94Harold Jackson1969--1983phi-ram-nwe-min-seaWR-FL100296586419.8158.684292483516.5657.6
95Tim Brown1988--2004rai-tamWR135562790714.0758.6127577760813.1959.9
96Tony Martin1990--2001mia-sdg-atlWR103369603116.3458.676267373213.9849.1
97John Stallworth1974--1987pitWR103361602316.6858.558230368716.0363.6
98Eric Martin1985--1994nor-kanWR85315496915.7758.568253339613.4249.9
99Stanley Morgan1977--1990nwe-cltWR99298578719.4258.586278525018.8861
100Alfred Jenkins1975--1983atlWR50170290317.0858.160196357118.2259.5
101Jason Witten2003--2011dalTE77381445711.757.967343374510.9255.9
102Kellen Winslow Jr.2004--2011cle-tamTE34153196712.8657.958284286910.149.5
103Braylon Edwards2005--2011cle-nyj-sfoWR48172275916.0457.557184288415.6750.6
104Cris Collinsworth1981--1988cinWR60216344615.9557.448222360616.2475.1
105Gene A. Washington1969--1979sfo-detWR-SE60178344519.3557.469210353516.8351.2
106John Gilliam1967--1977nor-crd-min-atlWR-FL69206394719.1657.270176301717.1443.1
107Chris Burford1960--1967kanSE-WR52205297114.4957.138157229214.660.3
108Max McGee1960--1967gnbE57177324418.3356.91956106719.0556.2
109Charlie Joiner1969--1986oti-cin-sdgWR114404647616.0356.8114375613216.3553.8
110Tony Hill1977--1986dalWR97335550816.4456.846190309816.3167.3
111Bernie Casey1961--1968sfo-ramFB-WR45162254715.7256.644160233114.5753
112Charley Taylor1964--1977wasWR-RB87341491814.4256.570297407113.7158.2
113Javon Walker2002--2009gnb-den-raiWR45157253716.1656.438123176014.3146.3
114Jerry Butler1979--1986bufWR38139213915.3956.347146228515.6548.6
115Carlos Carson1980--1989kan-phiWR50147280919.1156.263203344416.9754.7
116Webster Slaughter1986--1998cle-oti-kan-nyj-sdgWR76276426515.4556.184314424313.5150.5
117Hines Ward1998--2011pitWR145684812911.8856.183393499612.7160.2
118Gail Cogdill1960--1970det-atlSE-WR54172302317.585653164243114.8245.9
119Johnny Morris1960--1967chiFL-HB51189284715.0655.837141179412.7248.5
120Chris Chambers2001--2010mia-sdg-kanWR74273412715.1255.876291392813.551.7
121Cliff Branch1972--1984raiWR129401718417.9255.749170273916.1155.9
122Andre Rison1989--2000clt-atl-cle-jax-gnb-kan-raiWR92361512014.1855.792411550013.3859.8
123Reggie Rucker1970--1981dal-nyg-nwe-cleWR70235389016.5555.679215323415.0440.9
124Eddie Kennison1996--2007ram-nor-chi-den-kanWR75245416316.9955.5102306423213.8341.5
125Antonio Bryant2002--2009dal-cle-sfo-tamWR40148221714.9855.464225347215.4354.3
126Donald Driver1999--2011gnbWR115471636813.5255.476313436713.9557.5
127Marty Booker1999--2009chi-mia-atlWR57242315313.0355.385299356811.9342
128Yancey Thigpen1992--2000pit-otiWR67227370116.355.233121180014.8854.5
129Tony Gonzalez1997--2011kan-atlTE122562672311.9655.1116603677211.2358.4
130Vance Johnson1985--1995denWR70269385614.3355.151183252013.7749.4
131Curtis Conway1993--2004chi-sdg-nyj-sfoWR61232335914.4855.197369495213.4251.1
132Roy Jefferson1965--1976pit-clt-wasWR-SE78251426516.9954.772217349416.148.5
133Fred Biletnikoff1965--1978raiWR-FL136475742415.6354.646148213714.4446.5
134Lionel Taylor1960--1968den-otiWR31136169112.4354.571405515312.7272.6
135Vincent Jackson2005--2011sdgWR63194342917.6854.433107182817.0855.4
136Jim Colclough1960--1968nweE49148266618.0154.445112187416.7341.6
137Carroll Dale1960--1973ram-gnb-minWR-TE91245494920.254.473211366017.3550.1
138Dave Parks1964--1973sfo-nor-otiWR-TE31107168115.7154.267215342415.9351.1
139Shannon Sharpe1990--2003den-ravTE131534710013.354.26934337741154.7
140Ben Hawkins1966--1973phiWR2875151720.2354.257171294517.2251.7
141Eric Moulds1996--2007buf-htx-otiWR89344480313.9654100435551212.6755.1
142Isaac Curtis1973--1984cinWR79226426318.865475203302214.8940.3
143Brian Blades1988--1998seaWR66268355613.2753.978318414213.0353.1
144Lynn Swann1974--1982pitWR94302505416.7453.83280130016.2540.6
145Deion Branch2002--2011nwe-seaWR94367504813.7553.751197238312.146.7
146Sammy White1976--1985minWR68211364617.2853.661188289315.3947.4
147Kevin House1980--1987tam-ramWR3089160818.0753.670218369316.9452.8
148Haywood Jeffires1987--1996oti-norWR65272348312.8153.668304336411.0749.5
149Roy Green1979--1992crd-phiWR76239406617.0153.5104318482615.1846.4
150Ahmad Rashad1972--1982crd-buf-minWR71271376913.9153.167236329513.9649.2
151Amani Toomer1996--2008nygWR110403583114.475389307423213.7947.6
152Bobby Mitchell1960--1968cle-wasWR-HB52175275015.7152.962263419215.9467.6
153Bill Brooks1986--1996clt-buf-wasWR74278391014.0652.885332440313.2651.8
154Harold Carmichael1971--1984phi-dalWR-TE82279430615.4352.599333500115.0250.5
155Drew Pearson1973--1983dalWR121391635016.2452.550165257715.6251.5
156Lance Rentzel1965--1974min-dal-ramWR-FL66180345819.2152.44294154416.4336.8
157Irving Fryar1984--2000nwe-mia-phi-wasWR119398623015.6552.4135477684514.3550.7
158Bert Emanuel1994--2001atl-tam-mia-nwe-detWR44158230014.5652.352202268313.2851.6
159Keenan McCardell1992--2007cle-jax-tam-sdg-wasWR123495642812.9952.387443556712.5764
160Aaron Thomas1961--1970sfo-nygTE-SE3587182821.0152.255170266515.6848.5
161Mark Clayton1983--1993mia-gnbWR102336530315.785265278417815.0364.3
162Jake Reed1992--2002min-norWR72251374214.915262225366616.2959.1
163Roy E. Williams2004--2011det-dal-chiWR46161238814.8351.966237338614.2951.3
164Henry Marshall1976--1987kanWR58188298215.8651.484234363515.5343.3
165John Taylor1987--1995sfoWR94302482515.9851.33591150716.5643.1
166Ricky Sanders1986--1995was-atlWR80286410514.3551.357228288912.6750.7
167Alvin Harper1991--1997dal-tam-wasWR56139287120.6551.32976125716.5443.3
168Frank Clarke1960--1967dalE37112188716.855151149295919.8658
169Marcus Robinson1998--2006chi-rav-minWR47160239414.9650.955172244114.1944.4
170T.J. Houshmandzadeh2001--2011cin-sea-rav-raiWR57253289311.4350.881370428611.5852.9
171Drew Hill1979--1993ram-oti-atlWR103334522015.6350.7105339515215.249.1
172Michael Jackson1991--1998cle-ravWR39127196915.550.562234355615.257.4
173Willie Davis1992--1998kan-otiWR61183307316.7950.444119166914.0337.9
174Boyd Dowler1960--1971gnb-wasFL-SE102324511215.7850.140119160013.4540
175Derrick Mason1997--2011oti-rav-nyj-htxWR141542705313.015097450560912.4657.8
176Johnnie Morton1994--2005det-kan-sfoWR75267374614.0349.997368509213.8452.5
177Mark Carrier1987--1998tam-cle-carWR64212318815.0449.8102366566815.4955.6
178Danny Abramowicz1967--1974nor-sfoE3097149415.449.874255388415.2352.5
179Wayne Chrebet1995--2005nyjWR69263343513.0649.881336419912.551.8
180Dave Kocourek1960--1968sdg-mia-raiTE-FL55157272717.3749.63798150915.440.8
181Ed McCaffrey1991--2003nyg-sfo-denWR106380521213.7249.258227276412.1847.7
182Michael Westbrook1995--2002was-cinWR39135191414.1849.142144236116.456.2
183Lionel Manuel1984--1990nygWR50143244417.0948.933103174016.8952.7
184Gary Collins1962--1971cleWR80240387716.1548.54295149715.7635.6
185Robert Brooks1992--2000gnb-denWR67226324414.3548.436128168313.1546.8
186Frank Sanders1995--2003crd-ravWR48178232313.0548.480336452813.4856.6
187Jerry Porter2000--2008rai-jaxWR38116183915.8548.462197257313.0641.5
188Mel Gray1971--1982crdWR65167311318.6447.978188354518.8645.4
189Tim McGee1986--1994cin-wasWR53145252617.4247.769183273714.9639.7
190Frank Lewis1971--1983pit-bufWR86229409817.947.758190311416.3953.7
191Bernard Berrian2004--2011chi-minWR58178276115.5147.652143182712.7835.1
192Sean Dawkins1993--2001clt-nor-sea-jaxWR54173256614.8347.578290396013.6650.8
193Willie Gault1983--1993chi-raiWR98227465320.547.558127247919.5242.7
194Dallas Clark2003--2011cltTE88358417511.6647.436133155911.7243.3
195Jessie Hester1985--1995rai-atl-clt-ramWR49133231817.4347.373241354814.7248.6
196Michael Haynes1988--1997atl-norWR52155245915.8647.381280428815.3152.9
197Haven Moses1968--1981buf-denWR-SE82199385619.384790253442517.4949.2
198Jackie Smith1963--1978crd-dalTE84226395017.484777235369615.7348
199Mark Jackson1986--1994den-nyg-cltWR74205347216.9446.953159249115.6747
200Terance Mathis1990--2002nyj-atl-pitWR86299400213.3846.5114419520612.4245.7
201Bob Chandler1971--1981buf-raiWR48145223315.446.567229305813.3545.6
202Milt Morin1966--1975cleTE56165259915.7546.446117171014.6237.2
203Reggie Langhorne1985--1993cle-cltWR63205292314.2646.459229287412.5548.7
204Pat Tilley1976--1986crdWR61189283014.9746.474280418614.9556.6
205John Mackey1963--1972clt-sdgTE89253412816.3246.43377113314.7134.3
206Michael Timpson1989--1997nwe-chi-phiWR41137190013.8746.361164215413.1335.3
207Bill Schroeder1997--2004gnb-det-tamWR50150231115.4146.247159234214.7349.8
208Chris Cooley2004--2011wasTE48187221111.8246.160252263510.4643.9
209Brett Perriman1988--1997nor-det-kan-miaWR74258339013.1445.872294352211.9848.9
210Dave Casper1974--1984rai-oti-minTE70230320213.9245.744175237713.5854
211Dave Logan1976--1984cle-denWR47133214716.1445.747133216616.2946.1
212Bobby Joe Conrad1960--1969crd-dalWR-HB62191283014.8245.655192256313.3546.6
213Koren Robinson2001--2008sea-min-gnbWR51159232514.6245.646150206313.7544.8
214Bobby Engram1996--2009chi-sea-kanWR80301364112.145.5101384458611.9445.4
215Gary Ballman1962--1973pit-phi-nyg-minWR-TE3589156517.5844.768212345116.2850.8
216Nat Moore1974--1986miaWR-RB119363531514.6444.755163231214.1842
217Duriel Harris1976--1985mia-cle-dalWR68185303716.4244.744133228417.1751.9
218Jack Snow1965--1975ramWR-SE85214377317.6344.442115197817.247.1
219Freddie Scott1974--1983clt-detWR3695159216.7644.258173276615.9947.7
220Ray Butler1980--1988clt-seaWR3490150316.744.264152254316.7339.7
221Devery Henderson2005--2011norWR64150282818.8544.247104169716.3236.1
222J.J. Stokes1995--2003sfo-jax-nweWR66238291312.2444.149141181212.8537
223Charlie Sanders1968--1977detTE60174264315.1944.150151199513.2139.9
224Kevin Johnson1999--2005cle-jax-rav-detWR38133167212.574463255306312.0148.6
225Donte Stallworth2002--2011nor-phi-nwe-cle-rav-wasWR61164265616.243.555170237213.9543.1
226Freddie Solomon1975--1985mia-sfoWR83214359516.843.363191278814.644.3
227Ben Coates1991--2000nwe-ravTE70276301910.9443.170249279411.2239.9
228Vernon Davis2006--2011sfoTE42150181112.0743.145164228413.9350.8
229Rocket Ismail1993--2001rai-car-dalWR61168261715.5842.965204286514.0444.1
230Qadry Ismail1993--2002min-mia-nor-rav-cltWR83228354415.5442.758143188013.1532.4
231O.J. McDuffie1993--2000miaWR71248300512.1242.352217267212.3151.4
232Mark Bavaro1985--1994nyg-cle-phiTE77239325413.6242.340142184512.9946.1
233James Jett1993--2001raiWR55127232218.2842.253142226915.9842.8
234Brent Jones1987--1997sfoTE113366476913.0342.233111116610.535.3
235Jeremy Shockey2002--2011nyg-nor-carTE82309345011.1742.161260291811.2247.8
236Chris Calloway1990--2000pit-nyg-atl-nweWR64170269115.834272223289112.9640.2
237David Patten1997--2008nyg-cle-nwe-was-norWR77200323616.184263144173912.0827.6
238J.T. Smith1978--1990was-kan-crdWR64211267112.6641.791323417212.9245.8
239Brandon Stokley1999--2011rav-clt-den-sea-nygWR80226329514.5841.249156200512.8540.9
240Calvin Williams1990--1996phi-ravWR58184238112.9441.141141174412.3742.5
241Nate Burleson2003--2011min-sea-detWR64210262612.54160204257612.6342.9
242Ron Jessie1971--1981det-ram-bufWR74181303116.75414396143114.9133.3
243Keith Jackson1988--1996phi-mia-gnbTE87288356012.3640.947204255712.5354.4
244Jeff Chadwick1983--1992det-sea-ramWR44103179917.4740.962191275014.444.4
245Curtis Duncan1987--1993otiWR58210236811.2840.842146184112.6143.8
246Mike Sherrard1986--1996dal-sfo-nyg-denWR62162252815.640.832104147614.1946.1
247Shawn Jefferson1991--2003sdg-nwe-atl-detWR96253391415.4740.888244339013.8938.5
248Marshall Faulk1994--2005clt-ramRB9942240229.5340.68939733728.4937.9
249Jabar Gaffney2002--2011htx-nwe-den-wasWR66199268113.4740.682269322311.9839.3
250Willie Green1991--1998det-tam-car-denWR55147223315.1940.635117184415.7652.7
251Todd Heap2001--2011rav-crdTE83273336912.3440.663250279111.1644.3
252Mike Ditka1961--1972chi-phi-dalTE80239324013.5640.554184241613.1344.7
253Torrance Small1992--2001nor-ram-clt-phi-nweWR51141205314.5640.371213262412.3237
254Peerless Price1999--2007buf-atl-dalWR54159215813.574067254324412.7748.4
255Mike Renfro1978--1987oti-dalWR53140211715.1239.960190275914.5246
256Quinn Early1988--1999sdg-nor-buf-nyjWR73203291414.3539.976278379013.6349.9
257Chris Burkett1985--1993buf-nyjWR41110163514.8639.966185277214.9842
258Ike Hilliard1997--2008nyg-tamWR79258314812.239.885312353411.3341.6
259Drew Bennett2001--2008oti-ramWR44116175215.139.853205286813.9954.1
260Jerricho Cotchery2004--2011nyj-pitWR62206246111.9539.758199276113.8747.6
261Mike Pritchard1991--1999atl-den-seaWR58172229713.3539.667263304311.5745.4
262Nate Washington2005--2011pit-otiWR55139217515.6539.545137189213.8142
263Riley Odoms1972--1983denTE83220327914.939.561176237913.5239
264Sam McCullum1974--1983min-seaWR51131200315.2939.363150212814.1933.8
265Jay Novacek1985--1995crd-dalTE84298328111.0139.152186199410.7238.3
266Ozzie Newsome1978--1990cleTE102324397712.273998365437611.9944.7
267Bob Trumpy1968--1977cinTE-WR60147233115.8638.958147210314.3136.3
268Raymond Chester1970--1981rai-cltTE80199309915.5738.763172214612.4834.1
269Travis Taylor2000--2007rav-min-rai-ramWR52153201313.1638.750172216212.5743.2
270Joe Jurevicius1998--2007nyg-tam-sea-cleWR68195262913.4838.751145183212.6335.9
271Wesley Walls1989--2003sfo-nor-car-gnbTE68206260412.6438.381253276610.9334.1
272Ricky Proehl1990--2006crd-sea-chi-ram-car-cltWR112299427914.3138.2117393496212.6342.4
273Bob Tucker1970--1980nyg-minTE56161212913.223882255318712.538.9
274Steve Jordan1982--1994minTE86255326912.823881269338112.5741.7
275Leonard Thompson1975--1986detWR-HB52116197617.033880169286816.9735.9
276Charles Johnson1994--2002pit-phi-nwe-bufWR69204261612.8237.949173228313.246.6
277Jerry Smith1965--1977wasTE-WR75206284113.7937.960190234412.3439.1
278Rich Caster1970--1981nyj-oti-nor-wasTE-WR58123219717.8637.976207338516.3544.5
279Michael Jenkins2004--2011atl-minWR52144195413.5737.654184216811.7840.1
280Alge Crumpler2001--2010atl-oti-nweTE73196274013.9837.568191216811.3531.9
281Paul Coffman1979--1987gnb-kanTE49145183812.6837.562196248912.740.1
282Courtney Hawkins1992--2000tam-pitWR55170205912.1137.470204257212.6136.7
283Russ Francis1975--1988nwe-sfoTE96277358712.9537.455151214914.2339.1
284Billy Cannon1960--1970oti-rai-kanTE-RB80174298617.1637.3318194511.6730.5
285Jimmie Giles1977--1989oti-tam-det-phiTE50122186115.2537.288232330614.2537.6
286Brian Brennan1984--1992cle-cin-sdgWR61172226713.1837.262184237812.9238.4
287Eric Green1990--1999pit-mia-rav-nyjTE55167201712.0836.757200248812.4443.6
288Troy Brown1993--2007nweWR120392439211.236.681223266811.9632.9
289Gino Cappelletti1960--1970nweFL-SE63132230517.4636.670139203714.6529.1
290Justin McCareins2001--2008oti-nyjWR61145223015.3836.653118180615.3134.1
291Rick Upchurch1975--1983denWR67151243916.1536.453117193916.5736.6
292Frank Wycheck1993--2003was-otiTE86299312910.4636.46724323109.5134.5
293Heath Miller2005--2011pitTE80239286311.9835.839138149810.8638.4
294Floyd Turner1989--1998nor-clt-ravWR46129163812.735.654167238214.2644.1
295Mark Ingram1987--1996nyg-mia-gnb-phiWR65153230115.0435.447128181514.1838.6
296Ken Dilger1995--2004clt-tamTE69192243912.735.375180181910.1124.3
297Rodney Holman1982--1995cin-detTE81210281613.4134.879173220012.7227.8
298Dennis Northcutt2000--2009cle-jax-detWR49132170212.8934.797278339012.1934.9
299Pete Holohan1981--1992sdg-ram-kan-cleTE62190214911.3134.763189199510.5631.7
300Mickey Shuler1978--1991nyj-phiTE68222235210.5934.671248284511.4740.1
301Jerome Barkum1972--1983nyjTE-WR54129185514.3834.472201299014.8841.5
302Az-Zahir Hakim1998--2006ram-det-norWR57145191713.2233.655192255813.3246.5
303Brian Westbrook2002--2010phi-sfoRB8026926589.8833.24920316057.9132.8
304Larry Centers1990--2003crd-was-buf-nweFB8434127828.1633.111950741778.2435.1
305John L. Williams1986--1995sea-pitFB8129026779.23337528722227.7429.6
306Brandon Lloyd2003--2011sfo-was-chi-den-ramWR3281104912.9532.873230373516.2451.2
307Billy Johnson1974--1988oti-atl-wasWR65159211013.2732.571176207711.829.3
308Randy McMichael2002--2011mia-ram-sdgTE53160168610.5431.888257280210.931.8
309Roger Craig1983--1993sfo-rai-minRB12743140059.2931.55319515007.6928.3
310Ricky Watters1992--2001sfo-phi-seaRB9128928519.8731.36321518158.4428.8
311Ronnie Harmon1986--1997buf-sdg-oti-chiRB-WR94283293410.3731.289350361210.3240.6
312Tiki Barber1997--2006nygRB8026724979.3531.28033828178.3335.2
313Eric Metcalf1989--2002cle-atl-sdg-crd-car-was-gnbRB-WR83238256410.7730.9102317318510.0531.2
314Jim R. Mitchell1969--1979atlTE57139175912.6530.966160237514.8436
315Keith Byars1986--1998phi-mia-nwe-nyjFB-TE11939036659.430.87927224398.9730.9
316Freddie Jones1997--2004sdg-crdTE37109113110.3830.679295310110.5139.3
317Tony Nathan1979--1987miaRB8929027059.3330.44515815369.7234.1
318Tony McGee1993--2002cin-dalTE3992117812.830.289230291112.6632.7
319Jackie Harris1990--2001gnb-tam-oti-dalTE63157188111.9829.979251265010.5633.5
320Joe Morrison1960--1972nygRB-WR66147195813.3229.779224274712.2634.8
321Charle Young1973--1985phi-ram-sfo-seaTE76190225311.8629.671241300212.4642.3
322David Hill1976--1987det-ramTE71182209111.4929.576187221111.8229.1
323Billy Joe DuPree1973--1983dalTE101213293313.77294293107911.625.7
324Antwaan Randle El2002--2010pit-wasWR88184247313.4428.166220240210.9236.4
325Kelvin Martin1987--1996dal-sea-phiWR68138183913.332774238302312.740.9
326Thurman Thomas1988--2000buf-miaRB13034634119.8626.27120217198.5124.2
327Marcus Pollard1996--2008clt-det-sea-atlTE81183211311.5526.181185240212.9829.7
328LaDainian Tomlinson2001--2011sdg-nyjRB10434126837.8725.87630822657.3529.8
329Walter Payton1975--1987chiRB11327826459.5123.48623620718.7824.1
330Herschel Walker1986--1997dal-min-phi-nygRB8421119579.2723.310631129629.5227.9
331Kevin Faulk1999--2011nweRB12532828858.823.15415412287.9722.7
332Marcus Allen1982--1997rai-kanRB14534131869.34229129927559.2130.3
333Warrick Dunn1997--2008tam-atlRB9824421418.7721.89230124548.1526.7
334Earnest Byner1984--1997cle-was-ravRB11127123998.8521.610227825849.2925.3
335Tony Galbreath1976--1987nor-min-nygRB7917514708.418.69032626678.1829.6

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{ 2 comments }

Three weeks ago, I set forth the argument that perhaps Calvin Johnson was not even the most productive receiver in his own division. While Megatron racked up the numbers, I argued that you have to account for the situation. The relevant situation here is that the Lions ran an incredible 1,160 plays compared to just 999 for the Bears, and Detroit attempted 740 passes while Chicago threw only 485 times.

When one team throws 255 more passes than the other, I don’t think it’s appropriate to compare the receivers based on their raw receiving yards. One thing we could look at is yards per team attempt. The table below lists the number of team attempts for each wide receiver, his raw receiving statistics, and also his yards per attempt. The table is sorted by yards per team passing attempt. And while it is not relevant when discussing Marshall and Megatron, I have also included a Pro-rated Yards per Attempt column, which pro-rates the number of team attempts for the number of games played by the receiver (this helps Percy Harvin, of course).

RkPlayerTmGTmAttRecYdsYPRTDY/APY/A
1Brandon MarshallCHI16485118150812.8113.113.11
2Andre JohnsonHOU16554112159814.342.882.88
3Calvin JohnsonDET16740122196416.152.652.65
4Michael CrabtreeSFO164368511051392.532.53
5A.J. GreenCIN1654097135013.9112.52.5
6Vincent JacksonTAM1656672138419.282.452.45
7Demaryius ThomasDEN1658894143415.3102.442.44
8Steve SmithCAR1649073117416.142.42.4
9Roddy WhiteATL1661592135114.772.22.2
10Reggie WayneIND16628106135512.852.162.16
11Brian HartlineMIA1650474108314.612.152.15
12Wes WelkerNWE16641118135411.562.112.11
13Dez BryantDAL1665892138215122.12.1
14Steve JohnsonBUF1651179104613.262.052.05
15Victor CruzNYG1653986109212.7102.032.03
16Julio JonesATL1661579119815.2101.951.95
17Sidney RiceSEA16405507481571.851.85
18Eric DeckerDEN1658885106412.5131.811.81
19Mike WilliamsTAM165666399615.891.761.76
20Greg OlsenCAR164906984312.251.721.72
21Marques ColstonNOR1667183115413.9101.721.72
22Randall CobbGNB155588095411.981.711.82
23Golden TateSEA154054568815.371.71.81
24Dwayne BoweKAN134755980113.631.692.08
25Jeremy KerleyNYJ164935682714.821.681.68
26Cecil ShortsJAX145865597917.871.671.91
27Anquan BoldinBAL155606592114.241.641.75
28Jason WittenDAL1665811010399.431.581.58
29Lance MooreNOR156716510411661.551.65
30Davone BessMIA135046177812.811.541.9
31Malcom FloydSDG145285681414.551.541.76
32Torrey SmithBAL165604985517.481.531.53
33Tony GonzalezATL16615939301081.511.51
34Justin BlackmonJAX165866486513.551.481.48
35Jimmy GrahamNOR156718598211.691.461.56
36Mike WallacePIT155746483613.181.461.55
37Miles AustinDAL166586694314.361.431.43
38Pierre GarconWAS104424463314.441.432.29
39Josh GordonCLE165665080516.151.421.42
40Heath MillerPIT155747181611.581.421.52
41Brandon LloydNWE166417491112.341.421.42
42James JonesGNB165586478412.3141.411.41
43Percy HarvinMIN94836267710.931.42.49
44Jeremy MaclinPHI156186985712.471.391.48
45Brandon LaFellCAR144904467715.441.381.58
46Nate WashingtonTEN165404674616.241.381.38
47Antonio BrownPIT135746678711.951.371.69
48T.Y. HiltonIND156285086117.271.371.46
49Jermaine GreshamCIN165406473711.551.361.36
50Jordy NelsonGNB125584974515.271.341.78
51Larry FitzgeraldARI166087179811.241.311.31
52Santana MossWAS16442415731481.31.3
53Owen DanielsHOU155546271611.561.291.38
54Hakeem NicksNYG135395369213.131.281.58
55Brandon MyersOAK166297980610.241.281.28
56Vernon DavisSFO164364154813.451.261.26
57Chris GivensSTL155574269816.631.251.34
58Andre RobertsARI156086475911.951.251.33
59Danario AlexanderSDG105283765817.871.251.99
60Donnie AveryIND16628607811331.241.24
61Brandon GibsonSTL165575169113.551.241.24
62Rob GronkowskiNWE116415579014.4111.231.79
63Leonard HankersonWAS164423854314.331.231.23
64Danny AmendolaSTL115576366610.631.21.74
65Jermichael FinleyGNB165586166710.921.21.2
66Dennis PittaBAL16560616691171.191.19
67Denarius MooreOAK156295174114.571.181.26
68Martellus BennettNYG165395562611.451.161.16
69Kendall WrightTEN15540646269.841.161.24
70Josh MorganWAS164424851010.621.151.15

Why can't we throw it like the Lions do??

Why can't we throw it like the Lions do??


As it turns out, Calvin Johnson was neither the best Johnson nor the best receiver in his division, at least as measured by this metric. I’m not convinced or even arguing that yards/attempt is the best way to rank receivers, but I do think the statistic represents an improvement on just receiving yards. Since receiving yards are so highly correlated with attempts, some adjustment needs to be made, and I plan on providing more analysis on how to grade wide receivers this off-season.
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{ 16 comments }