Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.
We’ve made it through five weeks of the 2011 NFL season with Week Six kicking off today. Here’s a handful of stats looking back at the first five weeks.
* Is time of possession an important stat for success in the NFL? Consider this: There are six teams that have an average time of possession advantage of five minutes or more over their opponents after five weeks. The record of these six teams is 21-7. The San Diego Chargers top the list… they have a per-game average time of possession of 35:17 compared to their opposition’s 24:43 (a +10:34). Teams with the biggest per-game average time of possession advantage: San Diego (+10:34), Washington (+7:20), Houston (+6:50), Dallas (+6:22), New Orleans (+6:00), Green Bay (+5:36). The worst? Indianapolis (-10:58), Seattle (-9:14), Denver (-6:34), Tennessee (-5:50), St. Louis (-5:24), Kansas City (-5:16). The record of these six teams: 8-21.
* Seven players are averaging 19 or more yards per reception (minimum of 10 receptions this season). Leading the way is Carolina’s Steve Smith with 22.6 yards per catch. Others on the list: Garcon (Indy) 21.1, Floyd (San Diego) 21.5, Henderson (N.O.) 21.2, Cruz (NY Giants) 20.3, D. Jackson (Phil.) 20.3, Ballard (N.Y. Giants) 19.2.
* You know you’re having trouble scoring when your kicker has almost half of your points. Four teams have kickers that have 40% or more of their points after Week 5. The teams (with percent of points by their kicker): Jacksonville (49.2%), Miami (47.8%), St. Louis (47.8%), Dallas (45.5%).
* Scoring “return TDs” (those TDs via a kick return, punt return, interception return, fumble return) has been a good omen for some teams. Five teams have three or more return TDs this season: Baltimore-4, Chicago-3, NY Jets-3, Buffalo-3, San Francisco-3. These teams are 15-9 this season. Four teams have given up three or more return TDs: Carolina-3, Dallas-3, NY Jets-3, St. Louis-3. These teams have combined for a 5-13 record.
* Need another indicator that the NFL is a quarterback-driven league? In looking at the team passer ratings, there’s an interesting stat when you compare how well a team’s QBs do and how well the team’s defense does in preventing the opposing QBs from having a good game. Case in point: Led by Aaron Rodgers 122.9 passer rating, the Packers team QB rating is 120.0; the Packer defense has held opposing QBs to a 83.1 passer rating, a difference of 36.9, which is tops in the NFL. Sixteen teams have a higher passer rating on offense than their opponents; 16 have a lower passer rating on offense than their opponents. The teams with the higher passer rating than their opponents have a record of 55-22 (.714 winning percentage); those with a lower passer rating than their opponents are 22-55.
WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG FOR A TRIVIA QUESTION. Who had a better record in their first year coaching the Packers, Mike Sherman or Mike McCarthy? Answer at end of the blog.
* How well are the eight teams with new head coaches beginning their first full season doing after five weeks? San Francisco (Jim Harbaugh) 4-1, Tennessee (Mike Munchak) 3-2, Oakland (Hue Jackson) 3-2, Dallas (Jason Garrett) 2-2, Cleveland (Pat Shurmur) 2-2, Denver (John Fox) 1-4, Carolina (Ron Rivera) 1-4, Minnesota (Leslie Frazier) 1-4.
TRIVIA ANSWER. The Packers were 9-7 in Mike Sherman’s first season in 2000; the Pack were 8-8 in Mike McCarthy’s rookie season of 2006.