Monthly Archives: December, 2012

NFL Week 16: Head-to-Head stats you need to know

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

The Pittsburgh Steelers lineup against the Bal...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Atlanta vs. Detroit (Saturday): Detroit leads the series 23-11. The Falcons have won five of the last eight. The two teams have split the last six games played in Detroit.

New York Giants vs. Baltimore: This is the fifth meeting between the two franchises. Baltimore has won three of the four games. The Ravens won the only game played in Baltimore, 37-14 on Dec. 12, 2004. The Giants won the last meeting between the two teams, 30-10 on Nov. 16, 2008.

Oakland vs. Carolina: The series is tied at 2-2. The teams are each 1-1 on their home field. Carolina won the last game played in the series, 17-6 on Nov. 9, 2008.

New Orleans vs. Dallas: The Cowboys have a 15-7 advantage over the Saints. New Orleans has won six of the last seven. The Saints have won the last three games played in Dallas.

Tennessee vs. Green Bay: The Titans lead the series 6-4. Tennessee has won the last three contests. Green Bay is 1-4 at home in the series. Four of the last five games have been decided by eight points or less.

Minnesota vs. Houston: This is only the third time the two teams have played each other. Minnesota has won both previous games. Both of those games were decided by seven points or less.

New England vs. Jacksonville: The Patriots have won eight of the nine games in the series. New England has won five straight. The Patriots have scored 24 or more points in seven of the nine games. The only Jacksonville win was Jan. 3, 1999.

Indianapolis vs. Kansas City: The Colts have a 13-8 advantage over the Chiefs in this series. Indianapolis has won 10 of the last 12 games. Kansas City is 1-5 in the last six games played on their home field. The Chiefs have scored more than 10 points only once in the last four games against the Colts.

Buffalo vs. Miami: This is the 98th game in the series. The Dolphins lead the series 56-40-1. Buffalo won 19-14 in a game in November at Buffalo. Miami has won six of the last nine. The Dolphins have won three of the last four games played in Miami. Four of the last five games have been decided by seven points or less.

Washington vs. Philadelphia: The Redskins lead the series 80-71-6. Washington won this season’s earlier matchup 31-6. The Eagles have won five of the last seven. The two teams have split the last eight games played in Philadelphia.

Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh has won 53 of the 85 games played in the series. The Steelers have won five straight. The Steelers have won four of the last five games played in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has scored 23-plus points in the last five games; the Bengals have scored under 22 points in the last five contests.

St. Louis vs. Tampa Bay: The Rams lead the series 11-8. Tampa Bay has won five of the last six and have won the last five games played on their home field. Seven of the last nine games in the series have been decided by 10 points or less.

Cleveland vs. Denver: Denver has a big advantage in this series having won 21 of the 26 games played against the Browns. The Broncos have won nine straight versus Cleveland. Denver has won the last four at home. The Broncos have only lost two games out of 22 in the series dating back to 1975.

Chicago vs. Arizona: This will be the 91st meeting between the two teams. The Bears are up in the series 57-27-6. Chicago has won five of the last seven and have won three of the last four played in Arizona. The last Arizona win at home in the series against the Bears was a 20-7 win on Oct. 11, 1998.

San Francisco vs. Seattle: San Francisco holds a one-game lead in the series having won 14 of the 27 games played. The 49ers won earlier this year at home 13-6. The 49ers have won the last four games in the series. The two teams have split the last six games played in Seattle.

San Diego vs. New York Jets: The Chargers have a 19-14-1 lead in the series. The Jets have won five of the last seven against San Diego. The two teams have each won three games in the last six played on the Jets home field. Five of the last six games have been decided by six points or less.

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New York Giants achieve rare NFL feat last Sunday

Eli Manning About To Hike

(Photo credit: heathbrandon)

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

The New York Giants have had an up-and-down season this year and the last two games were a perfect example of that.

On December 9 the Giants put up 52 points in a 52-27 win over the New Orleans Saints. Just seven days later, the Giants were shutout 34-0 by the Falcons. It was the third time since 1966 (start of the Super Bowl era) that a team has scored 50-plus points one week and then was shutout the following week.

Here’s a quick look at those three cases.

Score 50-plus one game, shutout the next (since 1966)

2012: New York Giants… scored 52 points on Dec. 9; shutout on Dec. 16.
2005: Washington Redskins… scored 52 points on Oct. 23; shutout on Oct. 30
1973: Atlanta Falcons… scored 62 points on Sept. 16; shutout on Sept. 23.

In 1987 we had the reverse of the above scenarios. On November 22 the Indianapolis Colts were scoreless in a 24-0 loss to the New England Patriots. The following week they topped the 50-point mark with a 51-27 win over the Houston Oilers. This has been the only time since 1966 that a team has been shutout one week and then scored 50-plus points the following game.

In addition to the four cases noted above, there have been 10 additional times since 1966 that a team has been shutout in a game and scored 50-plus points in a game in the same season. Those teams include: 2008 Buffalo Bills, 2002 Carolina Panthers, 1996 St. Louis Rams, 1989 Cleveland Browns, 1985 New York Jets, 1979 Buffalo Bills, 1977 Seattle Seahawks, 1976 L.A. Rams, 1970 Dallas Cowboys, 1966 New York Jets.

Speaking of scoring 50 or more points in a game, there has been a lot mentioned about how the Seattle Seahawks last weekend became the first team since 1950 to score 50-plus points in consecutive games. Using the 1966 season as the starting point, the Seahawks became the ninth team since the ’66 season to score 50 or more points in a game two or more times in a season. (Note: The New England Patriots actually joined this club earlier in the season when they scored 50-plus in two games.) Here’s a look at those nine teams:

Games with 50-plus points in a season, teams

3: Dallas (1966); Minnesota (1969)
2: Oakland (1967); New England (1979); Dallas (1980)Cincinnati (1989); New England (2007); New England (2012); Seattle (2012)

Here’s one more interesting stat: The Patriots have scored 50-plus points in nine games since 1966. Four times they did it on November 18 (in 1979, 1984, 2007 and 2012).

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NFL Week 15 POP Score rankings: Seattle, Washington offenses make late-season push

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

The New England Patriots last Sunday night had an uncharacteristic offensive performance throughout most of their game against the San Francisco 49ers. The Pats scored only once in their first nine possessions against the 49ers, digging themselves a 31-3 hole before a late-game surge that eventually tied the contest.

This one-for-nine stretch was clearly different from the past offensive numbers compiled by Tom Brady and the offense as they had scored on over 50 percent of their offensive possessions for most of the season. New England did score on five of their last seven possessions in the game, giving them six scores in 16 possessions in the contest, still below their season average.

Even with this misstep, the Patriots retained their lead in the weekly NFL POP Score rankings, with a 2.59 ranking, followed by Atlanta’s offense at 2.2.

With only two weeks left in the regular season, there are two teams that have made significant moves up the list: Seattle and Washington. The Seahawks after their first eight games of the season were ranked in a tie for 23rd in these rankings with a 1.48 mark; this week they are tied for seventh with a POP Score ranking of 1.99. After scoring on 27 of their first 80 possessions in those first eight games, the Seattle offense in their last six games has scored in 31 of their last 61 possessions (a 50.8 percent).

The Redskins have been equally as impressive. The Redskins were ranked 15th in these rankings after Week 10. Since then they have climbed to fourth on the list. In their last five games, the Washington offense has scored on 26 of 54 possessions. Their POP Score ranking in the last five games has been 2.5, on par with what the Patriots have done offensively most of this season.

(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 15.

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

1. New England 2.59 (80 scores in 155 possessions)

2. Atlanta 2.2 (69 scores in 146 possessions)

3. New York Giants 2.16 (69 scores in 146 possessions)

4. Washington 2.05 (62 scores in 149 possessions)

5. New Orleans 2.03 (60 scores in 155 possessions)

6. San Francisco 2.01 (60 scores in 148 possessions)

7tie. Denver 1.99 (63 scores in 155 possessions)

7tie. Seattle 1.99 (58 scores in 141 possessions)

9. Cincinnati 1.94 (63 scores in 156 possessions)

10tie. Houston 1.87 (66 scores in 170 possessions)

10tie. Tampa Bay 1.87 (60 scores in 156 possessions)

12. Green Bay 1.86 (55 scores in 150 possessions)

13. Dallas 1.85 (58 scores in 144 possessions)

14. Baltimore 1.79 (59 scores in 156 possessions)

15. Detroit 1.76 (62 scores in 164 possessions)

16tie. Minnesota 1.71 (57 scores in 151 possessions)

16tie. Pittsburgh 1.71 (56 scores in 153 possessions)

18tie. Carolina 1.68 (46 scores in 143 possessions)

18tie. Indianapolis 1.68 (54 scores in 150 possessions)

20. Buffalo 1.62 (52 scores in 156 possessions)

21. Chicago 1.56 (51 scores in 151 possessions)

22. Oakland 1.5 (54 scores in 158 possessions)

23. San Diego 1.48 (48 scores in 150 possessions)

24. Miami 1.45 (47 scores in 149 possessions)

25. Cleveland 1.44 (52 scores in 163 possessions)

26. Philadelphia 1.43 (50 scores in 157 possessions)

27. Tennessee 1.41 (49 scores in 157 possessions)

28. St. Louis 1.3 (43 scores in 150 possessions)

29. New York Jets 1.23 (41 scores in 158 possessions)

30. Jacksonville 1.16 (44 scores in 162 possessions)

31. Kansas City 1.09 (41 scores in 157 possessions)

32. Arizona 1.04 (41 scores in 176 possessions)

Biggest gainer this week: Seattle (up seven spots this week); Miami (up three spots this week); New Orleans (up three spots this week).

Biggest loser this week: Tampa Bay (down six spots this week); Detroit (down four spots this week); Baltimore (down three spots this week); Denver (down three spots this week).

NFL POP Score league average through Week 15: 1.7

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Packers stay with Mason Crosby despite the numbers

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

Mason Crosby kicks a field goal during a Green...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let me state the obvious: Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby has had a terrible season!

That having been said, I’m not one to kick a man when he is down (pun intended). You have to give the Packers brass credit for sticking with Crosby, but if things don’t get better with his kicking, and a game, or worse yet, a playoff game, is lost due to a missed field goal, Packer Nation will have little to no sympathy for those who kept Crosby as their kicker.

Let’s look at Crosby’s season.

In many respects, sticking with a kicker who is in a slump is not traditionally standard operating procedure in the NFL. The fact that the Packers are staying with Crosby despite the lowest field goal percentage in the league (58.6 percent) and that he is one of only two kickers with 10 or more missed field goals this season (Crosby has 12, San Francisco’s David Akers has 10 misses) is pretty rare.

Since 2000, three kickers have ended the season with a field goal percentage under 60 percent (minimum of 20 attempts). They were: Neil Rackers (Cincinnati), Todd Peterson (Pittsburgh) and Jake Arians (Buffalo). Each of these three men finished their season at 57.1 percent. Should Crosby end the year under 60 percent, he would be the first kicker with this low of a FG percentage since Peterson in 2002.

Going back to 1966 (the start of the Super Bowl era), we have had seven kickers with a minimum of 20 FG attempts who ended the year under 40 percent. They were:

Kicker, year, FG made/FG attempt, FG pct.
Happy Feller, 1971, 6/20, 30.0 percent
Fred Steinfort, 1983, 7/21, 33.3 percent
Ken Vinyard, 1970, 9/25, 36.0 percent
Joe Danelo, 1976, 8/21, 38.1 percent
Errol Mann, 1976, 8/21, 38.1 percent
Mac Percival, 1969, 8/21, 381. percent
Lou Groza, 1976, 9/23, 39.1 percent

I think we can say two things about the above list: (1) It’s highly unlikely Crosby will approach these numbers; (2) Teams certainly did not change kickers back in the 60’s and 70’s like they do now.

When comparing Crosby’s 2012 season to other Packers kickers, we discover a couple of interesting stats:

* Crosby’s 12 misses are the most by a Packers kicker since Chester Marcol missed 14 in 1974. Crosby is the 10th Green Bay kicker (since 1966) to miss 10 or more in a season since Ryan Longwell missed 11 in 2001.

* Using the criteria of a minimum of 20 field goal attempts, Crosby currently has the third worst FG percentage since 1966. His 58.6 percentage is higher than Don Chandler’s 42.9 percentage (12 of 28) in 1966 and Dale Livingston‘s 53.6 percentage (15 of 28) in 1970.

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James Jones’ three TD pass reception game puts Packers on top

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

English: James Jones of the Green Bay Packers ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Green Bay receiver James Jones jumped to the head of the list of receivers with the most TD receptions in 2012 with a three-TD performance in yesterday’s win over the Bears. (He now has 12 TD receptions for the season.)

Jones became the sixth receiver this season (and second Packers receiver) to catch three touchdown passes in a game. Jordy Nelson had a three-TD pass reception game in October against the Houston Texans.

Jones’ three TD game also put the Packers in a tie for most games with three TD receptions by a receiver since 1966. The Packers have had 15 such games, which now ties them with the New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers. Here’s a look at how many games since 1966 each team has had where one receiver caught three or more TD passes.

Games with a player with three-plus TD receptions, teams
15: Green Bay, New York Jets, San Francisco
14: Dallas, Indianapolis, Oakland
13: Minnesota, San Diego, St. Louis, Washington
11: Cincinnati, Miami, Philadelphia, Tennessee
10: Denver, New England, New York Giants, Pittsburgh
9: Arizona, Buffalo
7: Chicago, Detroit
6: Atlanta, Cleveland, Kansas City
5: Baltimore, Seattle
4: Carolina, New Orleans
2: Tampa Bay
1: Jacksonville
0: Houston

Of the Packers 15 such games, Sterling Sharpe leads the club with three games with three TD receptions. Jordy Nelson, James Lofton and Antonio Freeman each had two games with three TD receptions.

Looking at the league totals since 1966, it’s no surprise that Jerry Rice leads the league with 11 games with three or more TD receptions. He is followed by Marvin Harrison and Randy Moss (nine each), Wesley Walker and Terrell Owens (five each) and Kellen Winslow and Carl Pickens (four each).

Here’s another interesting stat from Jones’ game yesterday: Jones had three TDs but only 60 yards total in receiving yards. This was the 25th time since 1966 that a player had 60 or less receiving yards with three or more receiving TDs. Fewest yards receiving in a game with three receiving touchdowns? Houston Oiler Mack Alston had three receptions, all for touchdowns and only 22 yards receiving in a game versus the Cleveland Browns on October 12, 1975.

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