Tag Archives: NFL

40 Packers Stats Until Opening Kickoff-August 19 (#22)

(From August 1 until the first regular season game against the Seattle Seahawks on September 10, we’ll give you a daily dose of Packers stats.)

Since the 2002 season when the NFL went to four divisions per conference with four teams in each division, the AFC East has been represented most in the conference championship games. Of course it helps that the New England Patriots, a team from the AFC East Division, has been to the AFC Conference Championship Game 10 times from 2002-16.

In somewhat of a surprise, the NFC division since 2002 with the most teams in the conference championship game has been the NFC South, with each of the four teams in that division (Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans and Tampa Bay) appearing in the NFC Conference Championship Game at least once since 2002. The NFC South is the only conference to have each of its four teams appear in a conference title game at least once since 2002.

Following are the number of appearances in the AFC and NFC conference title games for each of the NFL’s 32 teams.

AFC East New England, 10 New York Jets, 2 Buffalo, 0 Miami, 0

AFC North Pittsburgh, 5 Baltimore, 2 Cincinnati, 0 Cleveland, 0

AFC South Indianapolis, 4 Tennessee, 1 Houston, 0 Jacksonville, 0

AFC West Denver, 3 Oakland, 1 San Diego, 1 Kansas City, 0

NFC East Philadelphia, 4 New York Giants, 2 Dallas, 0 Washington, 0

NFC North Green Bay 4 Chicago, 2 Minnesota, 1 Detroit, 0

NFC South Atlanta, 3 Carolina, 3 New Orleans, 2 Tampa Bay, 1

NFC West San Francisco, 3 Seattle, 3 Arizona, 2 L.A. Rams, 0

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40 Packers Stats Until Opening Kickoff-August 3 (#38)

(From August 1 until the first regular season game against the Seattle Seahawks on September 10, we’ll give you a daily dose of Packers stats.)

You have probably heard one or more NFL analysts opine that teams in the league need to make sure they have a balanced attack on the offensive side of the ball… a solid running game and a dynamic passing game.

Last year just under 69% of the offensive yardage gained by NFL teams was via passing. Not a very balanced attack, if you ask me. But, let’s take a look at last year’s numbers and see which teams might have fit the “balanced attack” mode.

In 2016, nine teams averaged over 100 yards rushing per game and 250 yards passing per contest. The Packers were one of nine teams to fit into this stat category. The nine teams:

Team (Ave rush yds./game…Ave, pass yds./game)
Arizona 108.3…258.5
Atlanta 120.5…295.3
Green Bay 106.3…262.4
Indianapolis 101.8… 262.6
New England 117.0…269.3
New Orleans 108.9…317.1
Oakland 120.1…253.2
Pittsburgh 110.0…262.6
Washington 106.0…297.4

Here’s the interesting thing about the above nine teams that averaged 100 yards per game rushing and 250 yards per game passing:

  • Five of the nine made the playoffs
  • The combined win-loss record of the above nine teams was 88-54-2 (a .618 winning percentage). The other 23 NFL teams were a combined 166-200-2 (.454 winning percentage).

Fifteen other NFL teams averaged 100 or more yards rushing but did not average 250 or more yards passing per contest; four NFL teams averaged over 250 yards passing per game last season but did not average 100 yards rushing in 2016

Does averaging 100 yards per game rushing and 250 yards per game passing lead to success in the NFL? I’ll let you decide that.

Evaluating NFL rookie classes based on performance

The 2017 NFL Draft is completed and the over-analysis of how each team did in selecting their new players continues.

If you are a fan, you have no doubt read some of the analysis and the “grades” handed out on the various teams. One problem: Giving a grade to each team based on how each team drafted is absolutely no way to evaluate the success of the draft. Sure it makes for good reading, but none of these so-called experts has a clue how these rookies will perform next season or in any of the seasons thereafter, so a grade for the draft seems a little premature

Giving teams grades before any of those drafted players sets foot on an NFL field is crazy. The best analysis, in my opinion, is years after the fact, say, five or 10 years after a draft class. At that time you have a much clearer picture of how these players did on the NFL fields.

Let’s take a look at a couple of stats-based performance evaluators on NFL rookies. In the first stat, we see that 256 rookies over the past three NFL seasons played in all 16 games their first season in the league. Below are the number of rookies from 2014-16 that played in all 16 games for the team that first season in the NFL. Topping the list as you might expect are the Cleveland Browns with 14.

(Note: It’s important to keep in mind that just because a team had a lot of rookies play all 16 games in the first season does not mean the team did a great job in the draft; it could mean that team had a lot of holes to fill in their roster and depended on rookies to fill them. Conversely, a team with few rookies that played all 16 games does not mean they did a poor job in the draft; it could mean they had veterans who played before these rookies.)

Rookies that played all 16 games in their first season… 2014-16
14: Cleveland
13: Kansas City
11: Denver, Jacksonville, Miami
10: Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit
9: Indianapolis, New Orleans, Oakland, Tampa Bay
8: Arizona, Dallas, Green Bay, NY Jets, Pittsburgh, Rams, Tennessee
7: Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington
6: Baltimore, Houston, NY Giants
5: Buffalo, Minnesota, New England
3: Carolina, Seattle

The second stat focuses on points. Last season 26 of the 32 NFL teams had rookies score points for their team. The six teams that did not have a rookie score a point in 2016: Arizona, Carolina, Detroit, Indianapolis, Minnesota and San Francisco.

Leading the way were the New Orleans Saints with 187. Of course it helps that they used a rookie kicker, Wil Lutz, who tallied 133 of those 187 points scored by Saints rookies in 2016. The Cowboys were second with 132 points, those scored by their rookie duo of quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Here is the total number of points scored in 2016 by rookies for each team.

187: New Orleans
132: Dallas
110: Tampa Bay
72: Kansas City
66: NY Giants
56: Chicago
50: Denver
48: Baltimore, Cleveland, San Diego, Washington
42: Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Tennessee
36: New England
32: NY Jets, Philadelphia
30: Houston, Miami, Oakland
24: Seattle
18: Green Bay
12: Jacksonville, LA Rams
6: Buffalo, Cincinnati
0: Arizona, Carolina, Detroit, Indianapolis, Minnesota, San Francisco

NFL Draft: Offensive or defense… first-round choices in the last 10 years

This year’s NFL Draft begins on Thursday. Every team will be looking to fill some spots on their roster with young players… either potential starters or players who can add depth to their team.

Does your team need a playmaker? A defensive specialist? The first round in the draft is always an interesting time when teams try to fill their most immediate need. Some teams, however, seem to have a pattern in how they select that first-round player. Case in point: Since 2007, the New York Jets have made 12 first-round selections, 10 defensive players and only two offensive players. That +8 is the biggest discrepancy of any of the 32 NFL teams.

Let’s look at the last 10 years and see which side of the ball each team has focused on in the first round. There have been 318 players chosen in the first round over the last 10 drafts. A total of 163 of those players (51%) were defensive players while 155 (49%) were offensive players. During that 10-year period, 14 NFL teams have chosen more defensive players than offensive, while there were 12 teams that have chosen more offensive players in the first round than defensive players. Six teams chose the same number of offensive players and defensive players in the first round over the past 10 NFL drafts.

Here’s the breakdown of each team over the last 10 drafts when they have made their first-round selection.

More offensive players than defensive players
Baltimore +2 (5 offensive, 3 defensive)
Chicago +2 (5 and 3)
Cincinnati +1 (6 and 5)
Cleveland +3 (8 and 5)
Dallas +2 (6 and 4)
Detroit +6 (9 and 3)
Indianapolis +4 (6 and 2)
Miami +4 (7 and 3)
Minnesota +2 (7 and 5)
Philadelphia +2 (5 and 3)
Tennessee +6 (8 and 2)
Washington +1 (4 and 3)

More defensive players than offensive players
Atlanta +2 (6 defensive players, 4 offensive players)
Carolina +1 (5 and 4)
Denver +1 (6 and 5)
Green Bay +6 (8 and 2)
Houston +4 (7 and 3)
Kansas City +2 (6 and 4)
New England +6 (7 and 1)
New Orleans +3 (7 and 4)
New York Jets +8 (10 and 2)
Pittsburgh +4 (7 and 3)
San Diego +2 (6 and 4)
San Francisco +1 (7 and 6)
Seattle +1 (4 and 3)
Tampa Bay +2 (6 and 4)

Same number of offensive players and defensive players
Arizona (5 offensive players, 5 defensive players)
Buffalo (5 and 5)
Jacksonville (5 and 5)
Los Angeles Rams (6 and 6)
New York Giants (5 and 5)
Oakland (4 and 4)

NFL Stats: The importance of the second half of the season

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The 2016 NFL season is in the books, but how about one more stat from last season… (For those of you going through football withdrawals, maybe this will help!)

Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers fans will remember the ’16 season for many reasons including how their teams put together long winning streaks to finish the season. Both teams ended up in their respective conference championship games, although both lost in an attempt to make the Super Bowl.

How important is finishing strong in an NFL season? How important is the second half of the season?

Let’s take a look at the records of each of the 32 NFL teams in the second half of 2016… some very distinct numbers pop out.

Here’s the record of each NFL team in the second half of 2016 (Games #9 through #16).
*=Playoff team

7-1: New England*, Pittsburgh*

6-2: Atlanta*, Dallas*, Green Bay*, Kansas City*, Miami*, New York Giants*, Oakland*, Tampa Bay

5-3: Detroit*, Indianapolis, Seattle*, Tennessee

4-4: Arizona, Baltimore, Houston*, Washington

3-5: Buffalo, Carolina, Cincinnati, Denver, Minnesota, New Orleans, Philadelphia

2-6: New York Jets, San Diego

1-7: Chicago, Cleveland, Jacksonville, L.A. Rams, San Francisco

Did you notice the very clear stats that emerge from these records:

  • The 12 playoff teams had a combined record of 76-26 (.745) in the second half of the season. The teams that did not make the playoffs last season were a combined 52-102 in the second half (.338).
  • Twelve of the 18 teams that won at least four of their last eight games made the playoffs in 2016.
  • Eleven of the 14 teams that won five or more of their last eight games made the playoffs last season.
  • Teams that won their division (New England, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Green Bay, Dallas, Kansas City, Seattle and Houston) were 47-17 (.734) in the second half of the season.
  • The two Super Bowl teams (New England and Atlanta) were a combined 13-3 (.813) in their last eight games of the season.
  • The four teams that played in the conference championship games (New England, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Green Bay) were a combined 26-6 (.813) in the second half of the season.
  • The best second half by a non-playoff team last season was Tampa Bay at 6-2. Since 1988, the best second half of the season by a team that did not make the playoffs were the 1991 Philadelphia Eagles who went 7-1 in their last eight games but did not make the post-season.
  • Both Seattle and Houston finished the year 4-4 in 2016, but each made the playoffs. The 1999 Miami Dolphins and 2006 New York Giants both finished those seasons 2-6, but each made the playoffs that year. It was the worst finish in their last eight games by a playoff team since 1988.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp