Are we nearing the end of the 30-carry running back in an NFL game?
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy in Week One was a big part of the success enjoyed by his team as they stunned the Washington Redskins 33-27. McCoy amassed 184 yards on 31 carries. McCoy’s 31 carries was the first time a Philadelphia running back had 30-plus rushing attempts in a game since McCoy had 30 in an October30, 2011 contest against Dallas.
What’s interesting about McCoy’s stat line was the 31 carries. Not only did he have the most carries by a running back in Week One, but he was the only running back to have 30 or more rushing attempts. Week Two had no runners with 30-plus carries, and based on stats from the past several seasons, the 30-carry running back may become extinct. (Obviously the greater focus on the passing-game has been a major factor in teams not running a back 30 or more times in a game. That’s a topic for another time.)
Last season there were only nine games where a running back had 30-plus carries in a contest. Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles and Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson both did it twice last season. The nine games was the lowest this century.
Going back to 2000, a game with a runner carrying the ball 30 or more times was more frequent. Here’s a quick look at the number of 30-plus carry games each season since 2000.
2004: 44 (most in a season since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970)
The nine games last season was the lowest number of 30-carry games in the NFL since 1990 when there was only eight. Looking at stats from 1970 to today (1970 was the first year of the AFL-NFL merger) the decade of the seventies saw an average of 7.7 games with one running back carrying the ball 30-plus times in a game; in the 1980s, the average went up to 16.4 games per season; in the 1990’s the average increased again to 19.1 games per season; in the first decade of this century, that average skyrocketed to 25.2 games per season. Over the last three seasons (2010-2012) the average plummeted to an average of only 10.3 games per season.
As mentioned above, this was the first 30-carry rusher for the Eagles since 2011. The Miami Dolphins, have the league’s longest drought when it comes to a runner with 30-plus carries. The last time Miami handed the ball to one back 30 or more times was in a game in 2003 when Ricky Williams carried it 31 times against Dallas.
Following is the last time each NFL team had one runner with 30 or more carries in a game.
Last season with a 30-carry runner in a game
2004: Detroit, New England, New Orleans
2005: Dallas, Indianapolis
2006: Arizona, San Diego
2007: Chicago, Tampa Bay
2008: Green Bay, St. Louis
2010: Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Tennessee
2011: Cleveland, Houston, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Seattle
2012: Denver, Kansas City, Minnesota, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland, Washington
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NBA Playoffs: 10 Game Seven stats that might determine who wins Saturday’s Celtics-76ers game
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers will square off in Boston Saturday in Game Seven of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. This will be the seventh Game Seven the Celtics have played in the last eight years. This will be Philadelphia’s first Game Seven since the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals when they defeated the Milwaukee Bucks to advance to the NBA Finals. The 76ers did play a decisive Game Five in 2002 in a five-game first-round series against the Celtics. The Celtics won that contest.
Here’s a look at the last 21 Game Sevens (since 2005) and a handful of statistics that may determine who wins Saturday’s game.
1. Points: In the past 21 Game Sevens, the winning team has averaged 98.5 ppg while the losing team has averaged only 82.9 Teams that have scored 100 or more points have won eight and lost two. Teams that score 90 or more points are 15-7; teams that score 80 or more points are 20-11. The winning team has given up 90 or more points in only seven of the 21 Game Sevens.
2. Point Differential: None of the last 21 Game Seven have been decided by three or fewer points. Eight of the games were decided by four to nine points. Teams won by 10 or more points in seven of the games; teams won by 20 or more points in six of the Game Sevens.
3. Home Team: The home team won 14 of the last 21 Game Sevens, including seven of the last eight. The last away team to win a Game Seven: This year when the Clippers defeated Memphis in the first round of the playoffs.
4. Game Six: There doesn’t seem to be an advantage for the team that wins Game Six. The team that won Game Six only won eight of the last 21 Game Sevens.
5. Leads at the end of the quarter: The team that leads at the end of the first quarter won 18 of the 21 games. The team leading at halftime won 19 of 21. The team leading going into the fourth quarter won 17 of 20 (there was one tie at the end of the third quarter).
6. 20-Point Scorers: The team that won Game Seven had at least one player score 20 or more points in 20 of the 21 games. The losing team had a 20-point scorer in 14 of the 21 games. The Game Seven winning team had two 20-point scorers in 10 of the 21 games; the losing team had a pair of 20-point scorers in five games.
7. Turnovers: Committing fewer turnovers was not a significant stat in the last 21 Game Sevens. The winning team had fewer turnovers in only nine of the 21 games.
8. Shooting Percentage: The winning team had a higher field goal percentage in 16 of 20 games (in one game both teams had the same percentage). In 19 of the 21 games, the winning team made a higher percentage of three-point shots made than their opponents.
9. Rebounds: The Game Seven winning team had more rebounds than the losing team in 15 of 19 contests (in two games the teams had the same number of rebounds).
10. Game Seven Appearances: The Boston Celtics have played in six of the last 21 Game Sevens, tops in that category. The Celtics are 3-3 in those games. The Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets have each played in four Game Sevens since 2005. The Lakers won three of those four games; the Rockets lost all four of their Game Sevens since ’05. Detroit, San Antonio and Atlanta have each played in three Game Sevens since 2005.
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Roy Halladay hates relief pitchers! (just kidding)
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Here’s a quick trivia quiz for you: Can you name the last pitcher to lead the American League in complete games in two consecutive seasons? And… Can you name the last pitcher to lead the National League in complete games in two consecutive seasons?
If you answered Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay to both questions, you know your baseball.
Halladay last year topped the N.L. with eight complete games after leading the league in that category in 2010 with nine complete games. As a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, he led American League starters in complete games in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Following is a look at five different individual pitching and batting stats and the last time a player led the league in that category in two consecutive seasons. (Note: If a player tied for that stat title in one or more seasons, it is noted).
Complete Games, American League: Roy Halladay (Toronto) 2007, 2008, 2009
Complete Games, National League: Roy Halladay (Philadelphia) 2010, 2011
Wins, American League: LaMarr Hoyt (Chicago) 1982, 1983… Note-C.C. Sabathia was tied with two other pitchers for most wins in 2009 and led the league in wins in 2010.
Wins, National League: Sandy Koufax (Los Angeles) 1965, 1966… Note-Greg Maddux was tied with Ken Hill for most wins in 1994 and led the league in wins in 1995
ERA, American League: Pedro Martinez (Boston) 2002, 2003
ERA, National League: Randy Johnson (Arizona) 2001, 2002
Strikeouts, American League: Johan Santana (Minnesota) 2004, 2005, 2006
Strikeouts, National League: Tim Lincecum (San Francisco) 2008, 2009, 2010
Saves, American League: Dan Quisenberry (Kansas City) 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985… Note: Francisco Rodriquez was tied with Bob Wickman for most saves in 2005 and led the league in saves in 2006
Saves, National League: Jose Valverde (Arizona, Houston) 2007, 2008
Batting Average, American League: Joe Mauer (Minnesota) 2008, 2009
Batting Average, National League: Larry Walker (Colorado) 1998, 1999
Home Runs, American League: Jose Bautista (Toronto) 2010, 2011
Home Runs, National League: Albert Pujols (St. Louis) 2009, 2010
Runs Batted In, American League: David Ortiz (Boston) 2005, 2006
Runs Batted In, National League: Andres Galarraga (Colorado) 1996, 1997… Note: Ryan Howard led the league in RBIs in 2008 and tied with Prince Fielder for the RBI title in 2009
Stolen Bases, American League: Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston) 2008, 2009
Stolen Bases, National League: Michael Bourn (Houston, Atlanta) 2009, 2010, 2011
Runs Scored, American League: Dustin Pedroia (Boston) 2008, 2009
Runs Scored, National League: Albert Pujols (St. Louis) 2009, 2010
Last four games of the NFL season: Important in the journey to the Super Bowl?
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.
How important is momentum heading into the NFL playoffs? With four games left in the regular season, how important is it for the teams looking to make an appearance in the Super Bowl to go into the playoffs with a steady stream of victories?
As I hope you have come to expect with this blog, there is a quantifiable answer to the above questions. Taking a look at the previous 45 Super Bowls and the two teams that faced each other in those games, we discover the following numbers:
* Of the 90 Super Bowl teams, 31 (34%) went 4-0 in their last four regular season games. Nineteen of those 31 teams won the Super Bowl; meaning 19 of the 45 Super Bowl winners (42.2%) won all four of their final four regular season games.
* Of the 90 Super Bowl teams, 39 (43%) went 3-1 in their last four regular season games. Seventeen of the 39 teams won the Super Bowl; meaning 17 of the 45 Super Bowl winners (37.8%) won three of their last four regular season games.
* One team, the 1966 Kansas City Chiefs, went 3-0-1 in their last four regular season games.
* Thirty-six of the 45 Super Bowl winners (80%) went either 4-0 or 3-1 in their last four regular season games.
* Seventy-one of the 90 teams (78.8%) that played in the Super Bowl went either 4-0, 3-0-1 or 3-1 in their last four regular season games.
* No Super Bowl team has gone 0-4 in their last four regular season games.
* Three Super Bowl teams went 1-3 in their last four regular season games: Philadelphia, 1980; Denver, 1989; New Orleans, 2009. The 2009 Saints are the only team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl after winning only one of their final four regular season games.
* Sixteen Super Bowl teams went 2-2 in the final four regular season games. Eight of those 16 went on to win the Super Bowl. The last team to go 2-2 in their last four regular season games and win the Super Bowl? The 2010 Green Bay Packers.