Tag Archives: Teachta Dála

Can Eagles QB Nick Foles pass his way into the NFL record book?

Nick Foles calling a play vs the Redskins

Nick Foles (Photo credit: Matthew Straubmuller)

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles has certainly given his team a boost with his 125.2 Passer Rating and a 5-1 record for the team as a starter. In addition, his 19 TDs without an interception has given him enough buzz around the league that his name is now being mentioned as a potential MVP for this season. His performance (and that of the Eagles) will likely determine if we are still talking about “Nick Foles, MVP” in four weeks.

But here’s a more thought-provoking question: Is it possible for Foles to end the season without an interception?

Foles is one TD from tying Peyton Manning’s record for 20 TDs without an interception to start a season. In addition, if the season ended today, Foles would set a record for most TDs without an interception in a season. The current mark is held by Steve Young who had 10 TDs and no interceptions in 1987. He started three games in ’87 subbing for Joe Montana, winning two of those three contests. Two other QBs, Charlie Batch and Todd Collins, finished a season with five TDs and no interceptions.

Here’s a look at the most TDs in a season with none, one, two, three, four and five interceptions.

No interceptions in a season: Steve Young, 1987, San Francisco, 10 TD passes.

One interception for the season: Damon Huard, 2006, Kansas City, 11 TD passes.

Two interceptions in a season: Boomer Esiason, 1997, Cincinnati, 13 TD passes.

Three interceptions in a season: David Garrard, 2007, Jacksonville, 18 TD passes.

Four interceptions in a season: Tom Brady, 2010, New England, 36 TD passes.

Five interceptions in a season: Steve Bartkowski, 1983, Atlanta, 22 TD passes.

What do you think? Can Foles end the season without an interception? Or, in which of the above categories might he take over the lead?

A statistical cheat sheet for watching tomorrow’s Packers-Vikings game

Jordy Nelson

Jordy Nelson (Photo credit: Brian Giesen)

With a 5-5 record, there’s a distinct symmetry that can be applied when trying to determine what’s been good and what’s been bad for the Green Bay Packers this season. As you watch the game tomorrow against the Vikings, here’s a statistical look back at some of the numbers that might help determine whether or not the Packers will win this contest.

This stats breakdown will look at some of the offensive numbers, specifically the offensive drives in each game. Green Bay has had 48 offensive drives in its five wins and 56 offensive drives in the five losses.

Scoring drives. In the five wins, the Packers offense scored on 29 of the 48 drives (60.4%). In the five losses, the Pack scored on only 19 of the 56 drives (33.9%). They scored touchdowns in 15 of the 48 drives in wins (31.3%) and only 10 TDs in the 54 drives in losses (18.5%).

Average drives. The average starting field position on the drives in wins was the 29.3 yard line; in losses it was the 27.2 yard line. The average number of plays in drives in wins was 6.6; in losses it was 5.6 plays. The average number of yards gained in drives in wins was 41.4; in losses it was 33.8. The average drives in wins lasted 3:09; in losses it lasted 2:21.

Long drives. The Packers offense had 10 10-play drives in their five wins this season. In their five losses, they had seven 10-play drives. In their five wins they had 11 drives that lasted 5:00 or longer; in their five losses they had only four drives that lasted 5:00 or longer.

Quick-score TDs. The Packers have been one of the best teams in the league the past couple of years in quick scores. In their wins this season they had nine quick scores (TDs on drives of five plays or less). In their losses, they had only four quick scores.

Three and out. In the five wins in 2013, the Packers offense has had only seven three-and-outs. In the five losses, they had 14 three-and-outs.

Starting field position. In their five wins, the Packers scored 16 times (TD or FG) in 29 drives when they started at their own 29 yard line or worse. In the five losses, they scored only 11 times in 39 drives that started at their own 29 yard line or worse. When the Packers had a starting field position of their own 40 yard line or better, they scored five TDs in 11 drives in their five wins. When they had a starting field position of their own 40 yard line or better in their five losses, they scored TDs on only two of 11 drives.

I’ll be the first to admit that the Packers defense needs to step it up in these last six weeks of the season if the team is going to make the playoffs. But as you watch the game tomorrow, keep an eye on the Pack’s offensive drives. In fact, you may want to ask yourself the following questions as the game progresses:

What kind of starting field position are they getting?
Are they scoring when they get the ball, or are they always punting or losing possession due to a turnover?
Are they having sustainable drives, or are there too many “three-and-outs”?
Are they keeping the ball for long drives and then scoring?
Are they getting some of those signature “quick-scores”?

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Inside the Numbers: Starting Field Position in the NFL this season

English: Dallas Cowboys kicking off.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’ve watched any number of NFL games on TV, you’ve likely heard more than a few announcers mention about a team’s field position. We all know that field position is important to an NFL team. But here’s the question… How important is field position to a team? And more specifically, how important is a team’s starting field position to their success?

Just as a refresher, starting field position is where an offensive team takes over possession of the ball from their opponents. If your team is receiving a kick-off and it goes for a touchback, your team gets the ball at their own 20-yard-line. Starting field position… your own 20-yard-line. If your team intercepts a pass and it is returned to the opponents’ 34-yard-line, your team’s starting field position is the opponents’ 34-yard-line (by the way, great starting field position).

With that lesson out of the way, let’s get back to the task at hand: The importance of starting field position. To put some numbers to this question, let’s look at the first six weeks of the 2013 season. By tracking every starting field position in every possession in the 92 NFL games played to date, we can analyze the importance of where on the field a team starts their offensive possession… and if they scored.

What did we discover? Here’s a breakdown of where (yard-line) the 2,095 offensive possession started and if a team scored on that possession.

Starting field position          possessions                                    Score (FG or TD) percentage
Own 1 to 10                            38 scores in 158 possessions       24.1%
Own 11 to 20                          92 scores in 344 possessions       26.7%
Own 20 to 29                          287 scores in 968 possessions     29.6%
Own 30 to 39                          86 scores in 237 possessions       36.3%
Own 40 to 49                          62 scores in 157 possessions       39.5%

Midfield to opponents’ 40    53 scores in 101 possessions       52.5%
Opponents’ 39 or better       112 scores in 130 possessions     86.2%

Reading the above chart we see that a team that started at their own 20 to 29 scored 287 times in 968 possessions, or just under 30% of the time. Teams that started at their opponents’ 39-yard-line or better scored in 112 of the 130 possessions (an 86.2% success rate).

Here’s a couple more points of interest:

* Teams that started their possession at their own 19-yard-line or worse scored only 25.9% of the time. Teams that started their possession at their own 30-yard-line or better scored on 313 of 625 possessions, 50%.

* Teams this year that started every possession at their own 39-yard-line or worse in a game won only seven and lost 18, a .280 winning percentage. Teams this year that started at least two possessions in a game in their opponents’ territory have won 51 games and lost only 14, a .785 winning percentage.

Does starting field position matter? You bet… but then you already knew that.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Five stats you may not know about the Denver-Dallas shootout

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

Tony Romo (en) at a Dallas Cowboys (en) preseason.

Tony Romo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys combined for 99 points and over a 1,000 total net yards in Denver’s 51-48 win over Dallas on Sunday. Dallas QB Tony Romo broke the team record for most passing yards (506), and Romo and opposing QB Peyton Manning combined for 920 passing yards and nine passing TDs.

Here’s a look at a few more stats of interest that you may not know from yesterday’s shootout.

1. With their 51 points, the Broncos became the 203rd team to score 50-plus in a professional game since 1940. Their three-point victory tied for the smallest margin of victory for a team scoring 50 or more points. On December 22, 1963, Oakland defeated Houston 52-49; twenty years later, the Seahawks scored 51 in a 51-48 win over Kansas City on November 27, 1983.

2. The Cowboys became the ninth team in NFL history to score 45 or more points in a game and lose. The aforementioned Houston Oilers hold the record for most points scored in a loss with 49. The teams that scored the most points in a loss:
49: Houston (12/22/63)
48: Kansas City (11/27/83); Cleveland (11/28/2004); Dallas (10/6/2013)
47: Washington (10/17/83)
45: Denver (11/22/62); Miami (9/21/86); Cincinnati (9/16/2007); Green Bay (1/10/10)

3. Romo became the 15th QB to throw five or more TD passes in a game and lose. Three players have tossed six TD passes in a losing cause: Charley Johnson (St. Louis 11/2/69); Dan Marino (Miami 9/21/86) and Carson Palmer (Cincinnati 9/16/2007). Teams are 148-15 in games their QB has five or more TD passes, a .908 winning percentage.

4. Romo also became the seventh QB to pass for 500 or more yards in a losing cause. Dan Marino holds the record with 521 yards passing in the Dolphins’ October 23, 1988 loss to the New York Jets. Those QBs with 500 or more passing yards in a loss:
521: Dan Marino (Miami, 10/23/88)
520: Matthew Stafford (Detroit, 1/1/2012)
513: Phil Simms (NYGiants, 10/13/85)
510: Drew Brees (New Orleans, 11/19/2006)
509: Vince Ferragamo (LARams, 12/26/82)
506: Tony Romo (Dallas, 10/6/2013)
504: Elvis Grbac (Kansas City, 11/5/2000)

5. Yesterday’s game was the 11th game in history where opposing quarterbacks each passed for more than 400 yards (Romo had 506, Manning 414). It was also the second time it happened this season: Philip Rivers (419) and Michael Vick (428) each eclipsed the 400-yard mark in the Chargers-Eagles game on September 15. Here are the 11 games where both QBs had 400 or more yards passing:
1-2-1982: Dal Foust (San Diego, 433) and Don Strock (Miami, 403)
12-20-1982: Ken Anderson (Cincinnati, 416) and Dan Fouts (San Diego, 435)
9-21-1986: Dan Marino (Miami, 448) and Ken O’Brien (NYJets, 479)
9-13-1992: Jim Kelly (Buffalo, 403) and Steve Young (San Francisco, 403)
9-4-1994: Drew Bledsoe (New England, 421) and Dan Marino (Miami, 473)
9-19-2010: Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia, 426) and Matt Schaub (Houston, 497)
9-12-2011: Tom Brady (New England, 517) and Chad Henne (Miami, 416)
1-1-2012: Matt Flynn (Green Bay, 480) and Matthew Stafford (Detroit, 520)
12-23-2012: Drew Brees (New Orleans, 446) and Tony Romo (Dallas, 416)
9-15-2013: Philip Rivers (San Diego, 419) and Michael Vick (Philadelphia, 428)
10-6-2013: Peyton Manning (Denver, 414) and Tony Romo (Dallas, 506)

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Peyton and Rivers make a little QB history this past weekend

English: Philip Rivers on the sideline of the ...

 Philip Rivers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

This past weekend, Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers had big games for their respective teams and in the process made a little history. Here’s a look at what made this past week’s games so noteworthy for Manning and Rivers.

Peyton Manning: Through the first four weeks of this season, Manning has 16 touchdown passes and no interceptions. With 16-0 after Week 4 games, Manning eclipsed Don Meredith’s mark for most TD passes without an interception after the first four weeks of an NFL season. Meredith, the happy-go-lucky Cowboys’ QB-turned-TV-broadcaster, in 1966 had 14 TD passes without an Interception through the first four weeks of the season. Here’s a look at the QBs who had the most TD passes through Week 4 without an interception (from 1960-current).

Quarterback, Team, Year, TD Passes
Peyton Manning, Denver, 2013, 16
Don Meredith, Dallas, 1966, 14
Gary Danielson, Detroit, 1984, 9
Roman Gabriel, LA Rams, 1969, 9
Brad Johnson, Washington, 1999, 9
Steve Bartkowski, Atlanta, 1983, 8
Joe Ferguson, Buffalo, 1976, 8
John Hadl, LA Rams, 1973, 8
Mark Sanchez, NY Jets, 2010, 8
Fran Tarkenton, NY Giants, 1969, 8

Through Week 4, Manning has a Passer Rating of 138.0. That ranks fourth on the all-time list of highest Passer Rating for a QB through Week 4 of a season. Topping the list is Milt Plum who had a Passer Rating of 152.7 for Cleveland through Week 4 in 1960. Here is a list of the QBs with the highest Passer Rating through Week 4 in NFL history.

Quarterback, Team, Year, Passer Rating through Week 4
Milt Plum, Cleveland, 1960, 152.7
John Hadl, LA Rams, 1973, 145.7
Craig Morton, Dallas, 1969, 143.3
Peyton Manning, Denver, 2013, 138.0
Don Meredith, Dallas, 1966, 136.9
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams, 1999, 136.0
Tom Brady, New England, 2007, 134.7
Johnny Unitas, Baltimore, 1964, 133.6
Steve Young, San Francisco, 1997, 133.3

Philip Rivers: With 401 yards passing, three TD passes and a completion rate of 83.3%, Rivers became the fifth QB in history to attain those numbers in a game. Ironically, Rivers is the second QB this season to throw for 400-plus yards, three or more TD passes, and have a completion percentage over 80% in a game. Green Bay Aaron Rodgers did it in Week 2 versus the Redskins.

Here’s a look at the five QB who have reached the 400 yards-3 TD passes-80% completion mark in an NFL game

9-29-2013: Philip Rivers, San Diego, 401 passing yards, three TD passes, 83.3% completion
9-15-2013: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, 480 passing yards, four TD passes, 80.9% completion
12-18-2011: Drew Brees, New Orleans, 412 passing yards, five TD passes, 80% completion
11-28-1993: Steve Young, San Francisco, 462 passing yards, four TD passes, 81.3% completion
11-2-1986: Ken O’Brien, NY Jets, 431 passing yards, four TD passes, 81.3% completion

In addition, Rivers, with his 401 passing yards and completion rate of 83.3%, now holds the record for the highest completion rate in a game for a QB passing for 400 or more yards. He also now holds the record for highest completion percentage for a QB throwing 40 or more passes in a game. Tampa Bay’s Jeff Garcia previously held that record; he was 37 for 45 (82.2%) in a 2007 game.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp