Monthly Archives: October, 2012

Tom Brady and Pats offense take top spot in NFL POP Score rankings

Tom Brady

Tom Brady (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

The New England Patriots have averaged 36 points in their last five games, winning four of those five contests. Their 232 points scored leads the NFL through the first eight weeks of the season.

Last week against the St. Louis Rams, the Patriots scored on seven of nine possessions, getting touchdowns on six of those drives against what had been a Rams’ defense that had been getting good marks in the ’12 season. In their last five games, New England’s offense has scored a TD on 21 of 56 possessions (37.5 percent of their possessions).

With their performance against the Rams last week, the Patriots’ offense moved into the top spot in this week’s NFL POP Score rankings, edging past the New York Giants. The Giants had the number one spot in these rankings for three consecutive weeks.

(POP Score is based on the simple premise that it is the offensive team’s objective to score a touchdown (or at the least, kick a field goal) in each possession. POP Score stands for Points per Offensive Possession. Here’s how it works: The Falcons in Week One had nine possessions in their game. On four of the possessions, they scored a touchdown. On four of their possessions they kicked a field goal. They punted once. They scored 24 points on their four TDs (extra points are not included in Pop Score); 12 points on their four field goals. The Atlanta offense scored 36 points on nine possessions. By dividing the 36 points by the nine possessions, you get a POP Score of 4.0. Maximum POP Score is 6.0, which would indicate that a team scored a touchdown every time they had an offensive possession.)

Here’s a look at the POP Score rankings through Week 8.

Team, POP Score, (Season Offensive Scores/Possessions)

1. New England 2.49 (45 scores in 88 possessions)

2. New York Giants 2.4 (46 scores in 85 possessions)

3. Atlanta 2.32 (37 scores in 75 possessions)

4. Pittsburgh 2.27 (33 scores in 66 possessions)

5. Denver 2.18 (31 scores in 73 possessions)

6tie. Houston 2.06 (34 scores in 80 possessions)

6tie. New Orleans 2.06 (30 scores in 77 possessions)

8. San Francisco 2.03 (34 scores in 80 possessions)

9. Green Bay 2.01 (33 scores in 85 possessions)

10. Tampa Bay 1.94 (32 scores in 79 possessions)

11. Baltimore 1.89 (30 scores in 73 possessions)

12. Washington 1.83 (33 scores in 87 possessions)

13. Chicago 1.78 (28 scores in 72 possessions)

14. Cincinnati 1.76 (29 scores in 80 possessions)

15. Detroit 1.75 (31 scores in 79 possessions)

16. Minnesota 1.74 (33 scores in 86 possessions)

17. Buffalo 1.73 (25 scores in 78 possessions)

18. Dallas 1.71 (27 scores in 72 possessions)

19. San Diego 1.68 (28 scores in 75 possessions)

20tie. Indianapolis 1.56 (26 scores in 75 possessions)

20tie. Oakland 1.56 (30 scores in 81 possessions)

22. Tennessee 1.54 (27 scores in 82 possessions)

23tie. Miami 1.48 (25 scores in 81 possessions)

23tie. Seattle 1.48 (27 scores in 80 possessions)

25. New York Jets 1.45 (27 scores in 87 possessions)

26. Philadelphia 1.42 (24 scores in 76 possessions)

27. St. Louis 1.39 (27 scores in 80 possessions)

28. Carolina 1.36 (20 scores in 73 possessions)

29. Cleveland 1.35 (27 scores in 93 possessions)

30. Kansas City 1.19 (24 scores in 86 possessions)

31. Jacksonville 1.16 (23 scores in 83 possessions)

32. Arizona 1.15 (24 scores in 94 possessions)

Another team that seems to have their offense on track are the Tampa Bay Bucs. The Bucs moved into the top 10 this week in the rankings for the first time this season. After a season-low ranking of 24th after Week 3, Tampa Bay has moved to 21st, 19th, 17th, 15th and this week’s ranking of 10th. The Bucs have scored on 16 of their 34 possessions in their last three games after scoring on 16 of 45 possessions in their first four contests. Their POP Score in the last three games is 2.47; it was 1.53 after their first four games.

Biggest gainers this week: Tampa Bay (up five spots this week); Detroit (up four spots this week); Seattle (up four spots this week); Miami (up three spots this week)

Biggest losers this week: San Diego (down eight spots this week); New York Jets (down five spots this week); St. Louis (down five spots this week); Cleveland (down four spots this week)

NFL POP Score league average through Week 8: 1.73

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp


Dynasty? SF Giants have sixth-best record in MLB in last three seasons

Buster Posey

Buster Posey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

With their second World Series title in three years, you just knew the word was going to be thrown around eventually… DYNASTY.

The San Francisco Giants became the first team since the New York Yankees of 1996 and 1998 to win two titles in three years (the Yankees went on to win three straight after that ’98 championship). But let’s deal with the seven-letter word mentioned above.

Here’s the question: Can a team be considered a dynasty if they win two championships in three years yet don’t have the best record in that three-year period? What about if they aren’t even in the Top Five of best regular-season records in the past three years?

Looking at the combined records of the 30 MLB teams from 2010-2012, the Giants compiled a 272-214 record (.560 winning percentage). That is good enough for the sixth best record in the past three seasons. The New York Yankees have the best three-year record with a 287-199 record (.591 winning percentage).

Here are the Top 10 records from 2010-2012.

Team, Record 2010-2012, pct. (World Series appearances 2010-2012)

1. New York Yankees 287-199 .591 (0)

2. Philadelphia 280-206 .576 (0)

3. Texas 279-207 .574 (2)

4. Tampa Bay 277-209 .570 (0)

5. Atlanta 274-212 .564 (0)

6. San Francisco 272-214 .560 (2)

7. Cincinnati 267-219 .549 (0)

8tie. Detroit 264-222 .543 (1)

8tie. St. Louis 264-222 .543 (1)

10. Milwaukee 256-230 .527 (0)

In the last three seasons, the Giants never finished with one of the Top 3 records in all of baseball. In 2010 they won 92 games, second-best in the National League behind the Phillies, but fifth overall. In 2011, the Giants won 86 games, tied for 11th most in the majors. This past season, San Francisco won 94 games, tied for third-best in the league (with Atlanta) behind Washington (98), Cincinnati (97). They were tied for the fourth most wins in the majors this year.

Since 2000, only two teams have won the World Series after having the most wins (or tied for most wins) in the majors. The 2009 Yankees had 103 wins and won the World Series that season. In 2007, the Boston red Sox tied for most wins in baseball with 96 and went on to win the World Series that year.

Here’s a rundown of the champions since 2000 and the number of regular-season wins they had that year and where those wins ranked among the 30 teams.

2000: New York Yankees, 87 wins (ninth most in MLB)

2001: Arizona, 92 wins (sixth most in MLB)

2002: Anaheim, 99 wins (fourth most in MLB)

2003: Florida, 91 (seventh most in MLB)

2004: Boston, 98 (third most in MLB)

2005: Chicago White Sox, 99 (second most in MLB)

2006: St. Louis, 83 (13th most in MLB)

2007: Boston, 96 (tied for most in MLB)

2008: Philadelphia, 92 (fifth most in MLB)

2009: New York Yankees, 103 (most in MLB)

2010: San Francisco, 92 (fifth most in MLB)

2011: St. Louis, 90 (tied for eighth most in MLB)

2012: San Francisco, 94 (tied for fourth most in MLB)

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Jason Witten’s record-setting game can’t carry Cowboys to victory

Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

A record-setting performance by an individual player is rarely the needed consolation when a team loses a game. That was certainly the case yesterday as Cowboys’ tight end Jason Witten set a Dallas record for most receptions in a game with 18 in their 29-24 loss to the New York Giants in Dallas. Witten did not catch his first pass in the game until the 11:29 mark of the second quarter. He finished the first half with four catches.

In the second half, however, Witten had five receptions in the third quarter and nine catches in the final 15 minutes. He gained 167 yards with his 18 catches.

Witten’s 18 receptions were three short of the NFL record set by Brandon Marshall in 2009 with the Denver Broncos. Terrell Owens is second on the list with 20 catches (he did it in 2000 with the 49ers), and Witten tied Marshall for third on the list; Marshall has 18 catches in a September 2008 game for the Broncos.

Not only did Witten set the team record, but he also established another new NFL mark: Most receptions in a game without a touchdown. Witten became the seventh NFL player since 1960 to have 15 or more receptions in a game and no touchdown. Following are those seven:

Player, Most Catches in a game without a TD (Date, Team)

Jason Witten-18 (October 28, 2012, Dallas)

Clark Gaines-17 (September 21, 1980, NY Jets)

Keenan McCardell-16 (October 20, 1996, Jacksonville)

Williams Andrews-15 (November 15, 1981, Atlanta)

Reggie Wayne-15 (October 3, 2010, Indianapolis)

Wes Welker-15 (November 22, 2009, New England)

Kellen Winslow-15 (October 7, 1984, San Diego)

This was the 24th time since 1960 that a player had 15 or more catches in a game. It was the second time for Witten; he had 15 receptions in a December 9, 2007 games against the Detroit Lions in the Motor City. Witten also became the third player to have 15 or more catches in multiple games. The others: Brandon Marshall and Wes Welker.

Here’s a few more stats about Witten’s record-setting game:

* Witten became the eighth player over the age of 30 to catch 15-plus passes in a game (since 1960).

* Of the 24 times when a player caught 15 or more passes, that player’s team won 12 and lost 12.

* Of the 24 times when a player caught 15 or more passes, 12 happened in home games, 12 on the road.

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Chicago Bears ‘D’ keeps top spot in NFL STOP Factor rankings

English: Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

The Chicago Bears defense had another outstanding game in their 13-7 win over the Detroit Lions on Monday night. The Bears “D” was on the field for 12 Detroit offensive possessions and allowed the Lions to score only once in the game, that on the Lions’ last possession of the game. The Bears forced the Lions to punt eight times and created three turnovers in those other 11 possessions.

With this performance, the Bears defense remained in the number one spot in this week’s NFL STOP Factor rankings.

(The STOP Factor is based on the premise that it is the defense’s job to stop their opponents from scoring on each possession. To get a team’s STOP Factor, you divide the number of times a defense stops the offense from scoring – offensive unit TD or field goal – by the number of total possessions by the opposition.)

Looking at each teams’ last three games, the Bears have been the most dominant defense. The Bears have allowed their opponents to score in only five of 34 possessions, an 85.3 STOP Factor. The Arizona Cardinals defense has played very well in their last three games stopping their opponents from scoring in 28 of 36 possessions, a 77.7 STOP Factor.

Following is each NFL teams’ STOP Factor. Listed is how many times each team stopped the opponents from scoring, the number of possessions their opponents had, and the percentage of possessions that each team prevented the other team from scoring (stats are through Week 7 games).

Team, Opponents’ scoreless possessions/opponents’ possessions, STOP percentage

1. Chicago 79.7 (55 stops in 69 possessions)

2. Houston 74.4 (61 stops in 82 possessions)

3. Arizona 72.9 (62 stops in 85 possessions)

4. Atlanta 72.2 (47 stops in 65 possessions)

5. San Francisco 71.4 (50 stops in 70 possessions)

6. Seattle 70.4 (50 stops in 71 possessions)

7. Miami 68.5 (50 stops in 73 possessions)

8. Minnesota 67.6 (50 stops in 74 possessions)

9. San Diego 67.2 (43 stops in 64 possessions)

10. Tampa Bay 66.2 (45 stops in 68 possessions)

11. St. Louis 65.3 (47 stops in 72 possessions)

12. Dallas 64.8 (35 stops in 54 possessions)

13. Cleveland 64.6 (53 stops in 82 possessions)

14. Philadelphia 64.3 (45 stops in 70 possessions)

15. New England 63.3 (50 stops in 79 possessions)

16. New York Giants 62.9 (44 stops in 70 possessions)

17. Green Bay 62.7 (47 stops in 75 possessions)

18. Denver 62.5 (40 stops in 64 possessions)

19. Detroit 60.7 (37 stops in 61 possessions)

20tie. Baltimore 60.3 (47 stops in 78 possessions)

20tie. Cincinnati 60.3 (47 stops in 78 possessions)

22. Indianapolis 59.1 (39 stops in 66 possessions)

23tie. New York Jets 58.9 (43 stops in 73 possessions)

23tie. Pittsburgh 58.9 (33 stops in 56 possessions)

25. Washington 57.3 (47 stops in 82 possessions)

26. Jacksonville 55.9 (38 stops in 68 possessions)

27. New Orleans 53.7 (36 stops in 67 possessions)

28. Kansas City 53.1 (34 stops in 64 possessions)

29. Oakland 52.2 (35 stops in 67 possessions)

30. Buffalo 51.9 (40 stops in 77 possessions)

31. Tennessee 48.6 ((36 stops in 74 possessions)

32. Carolina 47.5 (29 stops in 61 possessions)

Biggest gainers this week: Dallas (up eight spots); Detroit (up four spots); Indianapolis (up three spots)

Biggest losers this week: St. Louis (down four spots); New England (down three spots); New York Giants (down three spots); Washington (down three spots)

Average league STOP Factor (through Week 7): 62.8

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NFL Week 8: Head-to-Head stats you need to know

own work

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Following is a look at this week’s NFL schedule and some historical stats on the head-to-head matchups.

Carolina vs. Chicago: Chicago leads the series 4-3. The Bears have won the last two meetings between the two teams. The Bears have won three of the last four at home. Chicago won the last game played at Soldier Field, 34-29, last October.

San Diego vs. Cleveland: The Chargers have a 14-7-1 advantage in the all-time series. San Diego has won the last four contests. The Chargers have won nine of the last 11 dating back to November 1, 1987. San Diego has won five of the last six in Cleveland. The last two games played in the series were decided by a touchdown.

Seattle vs. Detroit: Seattle has won seven and lost four in the 11 games played between the two teams. Seattle won the last game played in Detroit, 9-6, in September, 2006. Seattle has won the last three games played.

Jacksonville vs. Green Bay: The series is tied at two games apiece. The Jaguars have won the last two match-ups. Jacksonville won the only game played in Green Bay, 28-25, in December, 2004. The last three games have been decided by four, three and seven points.

Miami vs. New York Jets: The Jets lead this divisional series 49-44-1. Miami has won three of the last four played on the Jets’ home field. Going back to 2006, the Jets have won eight and the Dolphins five in the series. The Jets won 23-20 earlier this season in Miami.

Atlanta vs. Philadelphia: Philadelphia has a 17-12-1 edge in the series. The Eagles have won eight of the last 10 and have won the last six games played in Philadelphia. The last Falcons win in Philly was in October, 1988. Philadelphia has scored 96 points in the last three games against the Falcons.

Washington vs. Pittsburgh: The Redskins have the advantage in the series, 42-31-3. The Steelers have won the last four contests. The Redskins have scored only 16 points in their last three games against Pittsburgh. The Steelers have won the last three games played in Pittsburgh.

New England vs. St. Louis (in London): The Patriots hold a slim 6-5 advantage in the series. New England has won the last three games. This is the second time the two teams have met on a neutral site. They played in New Orleans on February 3, 2002 in the Super Bowl, with the Pats winning 20-17.

Indianapolis vs. Tennessee: Indianapolis has won 21 and lost 14 in the series. The Colts have won six of the last seven in the series. The two teams split their two games in 2011, each team winning at home. Since 2003, the Colts have won 14 and lost four against the Titans.

Oakland vs. Kansas City: The Chiefs lead this division rivalry with 55 win, 49 losses and two ties. Oakland has won six of the last nine in the series. Oakland has won the last five games played in Kansas City. Since 2003 the Chiefs have won 12 of 18 in the series.

New York Giants vs. Dallas: The Cowboys lead the series, 57-42-2. The Cowboys won 24-17 in the 2012 season-opener on September 5. The Giants have won seven of the last 10 in the series. The Giants have won four of the last five games played in Dallas. The last three games played in Dallas were decided by two, six and three points.

New Orleans vs. Denver: Denver has won seven of the nine games the two franchises have played. The Broncos are 4-1 at home. Denver has won the last three. The Broncos have scored 106 points in the last three games played against the Saints.

San Francisco vs. Arizona: San Francisco holds a 24-17 advantage in the series. The 49ers have won five of the last six in the series. The two teams have split the last 10 games played in Arizona. The Cardinals have scored only 50 points in the last five games played against the 49ers.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp