Tag Archives: Troy Aikman

99 Stats Until Kickoff (#90) Is the 1983 NFL draft the best ever?

John Elway tosses footballs to the crowd durin...

John Elway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From May 30 and every day until September 5… the start of the 2013 NFL season… Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ will publish “99 Stats Until Kickoff” a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.)

How will this year’s NFL draft compare with the previous drafts? What kind of NFL careers will those players chosen at the top of the 2013 NFL Draft have 15 years from now?

That is part of the fun of the NFL draft… did those players chosen in the first-round deserve to be chosen that high? Did their NFL career warrant that selection?

With that in mind, here’s a quick look at one way to evaluate previous drafts. Following are those drafts that had the most first-round draft choices who eventually were elected to the NFL Hall of Fame.

First-Round Selection Hall of Famers, Draft Year, Players
6… 1983: John Elway, Eric Dickerson, Bruce Matthews, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Darrell Green

4… 1952: Les Richter, Ollie Matson, Hugh McElhenny, Frank Gifford
4… 1957: Paul Hornung, Len Dawson, Jim Brown, Jim Parker
4… 1961: Mike Ditka, Jimmy Johnson, Herb Adderly, Bob Lilly
4… 1964: Bob Brown, Charley Taylor, Carl Eller, Paul Warfield
4… 1967: Bob Griese, Floyd Little, Alan Page, Gene Upshaw
4… 1989: Troy Aikman, Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas, Deion Sanders

3… 1965: Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, Joe Namath
3… 1969: O.J. Simpson, Joe Greene, Roger Wehrli
3… 1978: Earl Campbell, James Lofton, Ozzie Newsome
3… 1985: Bruce Smith, Chris Doleman, Jerry Rice

While the 1983 draft had the most first-rounders that ended up in Canton, you can make a case that the 1989 draft had the most impressive first five selections. In that draft, four of the first five selections made the Hall of Fame (Aikman No. 1, Sanders No. 3, Thomas No. 4, and Sanders No. 5) The only Top 5 selection from that draft not in the Hall? Tony Mandarich.

For another angle, let’s look at the 73 players selected to the Hall of Fame since 2000. In the last 14 Hall of Fame classes, 39 (53.4 percent) were first-round picks in the NFL draft. Here’s a breakdown of where the last 73 Hall of Famers elected were drafted in the NFL draft.

First Round: 39

Second Round: 9

Third Round: 7

Fourth Round: 2

Fifth Round: 1

Sixth Round or later: 7

Undrafted: 4 (Jack Butler, John Randle, Emmitt Thomas, Warren Moon)

Drafted in the Supplemental Draft: 2 (Steve Young, Cris Carter)

No NFL draft: 2 (Benny Friedman, Fritz Pollard)

Here’s another quick stat… of the Hall of Famers elected since 2000, here are the players who were drafted with the lowest picks.

Pick, Round, Player

#245 (18th Round) Chris Hanburger

#203 (8th Round) Richard Dent

#192 (7th Round) Shannon Sharpe

#182 (7th Round) Rayfield Wright

#105 (4th Round) Harry Carson

#102 (13th Round) Nick Buoniconti

Did you know? Of the 73 players selected to the NFL Hall of Fame since 2000, four were the No. 1 overall pick in the draft: Bruce Smith (1985), Aikman (1989), John Elway (1983) and Ron Yary (1968).

“99 Stats Before Kickoff” (Stats you need to know before the start of the 2013 NFL season) is available from e-book publisher Smashwords. Go to www.smashwords.com to download a copy, including a pdf version which can be viewed on your home computer. Cost is $2.99.

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99 Stats Until Kickoff (#74) Inside the ‘big play’ numbers at the Super Bowl

English:

Terry Bradshaw (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From May 30 and every day until September 5… the start of the 2013 NFL season… Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ will publish “99 Stats Until Kickoff” a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.)

One of the reasons last year’s Super Bowl was so exciting was the “big plays” that happened during the game. (Let’s define a “big play” as a play from scrimmage that went for 20 or more yards.) There were 14 big plays in the game, which was the second most in Super Bowl history, and there were at least three in every quarter. The Ravens had five big plays in the game and the 49ers had nine.

(For the record, Super Bowl XXII, Washington vs. Denver, had the most plays of 20-plus yards from scrimmage with 17. The Redskins had 10 big plays in that contest, the most by one team in a Super Bowl.)

At the other end of the spectrum, when the New York Giants upset the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, the Giants accomplished something that only two teams had previously done in Super Bowl history: They did not allow the Patriots to have a play of 20 or more yards from scrimmage. The only other teams to accomplish that feat were the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl 7 and the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl 30.

With “big plays” from scrimmage as the focus (again, we’ll define a “big play” as a play from scrimmage for 20 or more yards), here’s a look at how “big plays” have played an important role in the previous 47 Super Bowls. For the record, there have been 334 “big plays” from scrimmage in the previous 47 Super Bowls (an average of just over seven “big plays” per game).

* Of the 334 big plays in the Super Bowl, 184 (55.1%) were by the team that won the game. In 25 of the 47 games, the eventual Super Bowl winner had more big plays than their opponent; in nine of the games, the teams had the same number of big plays. Teams that allowed no big plays or only one in the Super Bowl have won nine and lost only once. Teams that allowed two or fewer plays of 20 yards or more from scrimmage are 18-10 in the Super Bowl.

* Of the 334 big plays, 99 (29.6%) happened in the fourth quarter. Fifty-five of those 99 were by the team that lost the game (making big plays to get back in the game?)

* In 33 of the 47 Super Bowls, the team that won also had the longest play from scrimmage in the game. The Ravens had the big play in the last Super Bowl, a 56-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to Jacoby Jones.

* Of the 334 big plays, 85 of them happened on either third or fourth down. Of those 85, the team that won the game had a big play on third or fourth down 54 times. In the 35 of the 47 Super Bowls, the winning team had at least one play of 20 yards or more from scrimmage on a third down. Losing teams only had a play of 20 yards or more from scrimmage on a third or fourth down in 20 of the 47 games.

* Of the 334 big plays, 64 went for touchdowns. Of those 64, 42 of them were scored by the team that won the game.

Here’s a quick look at the QBs, running backs and receivers that had the most big plays in Super Bowl history.

Quarterbacks, Super Bowl big plays (passes of 20-plus yards)
Terry Bradshaw, 18
Joe Montana, 17
John Elway, 16
Kurt Warner, 15
Troy Aikman, 11
Roger Staubach, 10

Running Backs, Super Bowl big plays (runs of 20-plus yards)
Timmy Smith, 3
Franco Harris, 3
Marcus Allen, 2
Emmitt Smith, 2
Clarence Davis, 2
Frank Gore, 2
Thurman Thomas, 2
Michael Pittman, 2

Receivers, Super Bowl big plays (receptions of 20-plus yards)
Jerry Rice, 12
Lynn Swann, 7
John Stallworth, 5
Andre Reed, 5
Michael Irvin, 5

“99 Stats Before Kickoff” (Stats you need to know before the start of the 2013 NFL season) is available from e-book publisher Smashwords. Go to www.smashwords.com to download a copy, including a pdf version which can be viewed on your home computer. Cost is $2.99.

99 Stats Until Kickoff: (#28) Joe Flacco’s 2012 playoffs were ‘Montana-esque’

From May 30 and every day until September 5… the start of the 2013 NFL season… Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ will publish “99 Stats Until Kickoff” a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.)

Rookie # 5 Joe Flacco in Ravens Training Camp ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have seen on several occasions where a quarterback with a “hot” hand can lead his team through the playoffs to a Super Bowl victory. That was certainly the case with Baltimore Ravens’ signal-caller Joe Flacco, who won the Super Bowl XLVII MVP with three touchdowns on 22-for-33 passing.

There might be a few people out there that would disagree with Flacco’s MVP honor, instead looking at Jacoby Jones’ 56-yard TD reception and 108-yard kickoff return as MVP-worthy. I don’t think you would have gotten much push-back had Jones won the MVP.

But one thing is for sure: Flacco was the MVP of the 2012 NFL playoffs… no doubt. He had 11 touchdowns and no interceptions, leading the Ravens to four wins. Flacco also broke a playoff record held by Drew Brees for most pass attempts in the playoffs without an interception with 126. Brees in 2009 led the Saints to an NFL title with a post-season performance that included no interceptions on 102 pass attempts.

Following are the nine QBs who finished a playoff season with no interceptions on 70 or more pass attempts.

Quarterback, team, season, playoff pass attempts with 0 interceptions
Joe Flacco, Baltimore, 2012: 126 pass attempts
Drew Brees, New Orleans, 2009: 102 pass attempts
Troy Aikman, Dallas, 1992: 89 pass attempts
Steve Young, San Francisco, 1994: 87 pass attempts
Daryle Lamonica, Oakland, 1968: 86 pass attempts
Joe Montana, San Francisco, 1989: 83 pass attempts
Tom Brady, New England, 2004: 81 pass attempts
Neil O’Donnell, Pittsburgh, 1994: 77 pass attempts
Jeff Hostetler, New York Giants, 1990: 76 pass attempts

Three other notes:

* Twenty quarterbacks went through a playoff season with no interceptions on 50 or more passes.

* Prior to Flacco’s 2012 playoff performance, Joe Montana had the most TDs, 11, without an interception in a playoff season. He did it in 1989. Flacco is now tied with Montana with the 11 TDs. Steve Young had nine TDs with no interceptions in 1994. Three players are tied with eight TDs: Troy Aikman (1992), Drew Brees (2009) and Phil Simms (1986).

* Of the 20 QBs with no interceptions on 50 or more pass attempts in a playoff season, 12 won the Super Bowl that year.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

QB success a key to NFL playoff victories

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

Joe Montana on the set of an ESPN broadcast.

Joe Montana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You don’t have to be a football expert to know that having a quarterback at the top of his game can go a long ways to leading a team to a successful season. In fact, many teams in the past have seen their QB single-handedly lead their team to a title.

Case in point: One of the indicators of QB success has been the Passer Rating. The value of this formula has been enthusiastically debated, but for the sake of this blog, let’s assume that Passer Rating is a valuable tool to evaluating NFL quarterbacks. Since 1966, the start of the Super Bowl era, there have been 219 quarterbacks who have had a Passer Rating of 100.0 or higher in a playoff game. Of those 219 games, the QB’s team has won 192 of those games, a winning percentage of .877. You can certainly make the point that a good QB performance (100.0 or better) in a playoff game will lead to victory and advancement in the post-season.

Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers last weekend became the 15th QB since 1966 to have five or more playoff games with a 100.0 or higher Passer Rating. Rodgers’ Passer Rating was 104.9 in the Pack’s win over the Minnesota Vikings. Baltimore’s Joe Flacco was the only other QB last weekend to have a 100-plus Passer Rating as he had a 125.6 Passer Rating in their win over the Colts.

Here’s a look at the 15 QB’s since 1966 that have had five or more playoff games with a Passer Rating of 100 or higher.

Playoff games with 100-plus Passer Rating (since 1966), QBs
12: Joe Montana
10: Brett Favre
9: Troy Aikman
7: Tom Brady, Terry Bradshaw
6: Roger Staubach
5: Drew Brees, Jake Delhomme, John Elway, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Aaron Rodgers, Ken Stabler, Steve Young

Here’s a few more stats regarding Passer Rating in the playoffs:

* Since 2000, there have been 77 playoff games where a QB had a Passer Rating of 100.0 or higher. Those teams have won 65 of the 77 games, a winning percentage of .844.

* Only two quarterbacks since 1966 have had a Passer Rating of 100 or higher and lost two playoff games: Joe Montana and Warren Moon.

Let’s look at the other end of the scale… QBs who had terrible games, a Passer Rating under 50 in a playoff game. Since 1966, there have been 190 playoff games where the QB had a Passer Rating under 50 in that game. Those teams have won only 24 of the 190 games, a winning percentage of only .126.

The last quarterback to win a playoff game with a Passer Rating under 50 was Ben Roethlisberger. On January 23, 2011 in the Steelers 24-19 win over the New York Jets, Roethlisberger had a Passer Rating of 35.5.

Five quarterbacks have had four or more playoff games with a Passer Rating under 50. Craig Morton tops the list with five such games. Mark Brunell, Pat Haden, Ron Jaworski and Jim Kelly each had four.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

NFL Draft: Is the 1983 draft the best ever?

NFL superstar John Elway prepares to launch a ...

Is John Elway part of the NFL's greatest draft class? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

How will this year’s NFL draft compare with the previous drafts? What kind of NFL careers will Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin, Matt Kalil and Trent Richardson have when we look back on their careers in another 15 years?

That is part of the fun of the NFL draft… did those players chosen in the first-round deserve to be chosen that high? Did their NFL career warrant that selection?

With that in mind, here’s a quick look at one way to evaluate previous drafts. Following are those drafts that had the most first-round draft choices who eventually were elected to the NFL Hall of Fame.

First-Round Selection Hall of Famers,  Draft Year, Players

6… 1983: John Elway, Eric Dickerson, Bruce Matthews, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Darrell Green

4… 1952: Les Richter, Ollie Matson, Hugh McElhenny, Frank Gifford

4… 1957: Paul Hornung, Len Dawson, Jim Brown, Jim Parker

4… 1961: Mike Ditka, Jimmy Johnson, Herb Adderly, Bob Lilly

4… 1964: Bob Brown, Charley Taylor, Carl Eller, Paul Warfield

4… 1967: Bob Griese, Floyd Little, Alan Page, Gene Upshaw

4… 1989: Troy Aikman, Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas, Deion Sanders

3… 1965: Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, Joe Namath

3… 1969: O.J. Simpson, Joe Greene, Roger Wehrli

3… 1978: Earl Campbell, James Lofton, Ozzie Newsome

3… 1985: Bruce Smith, Chris Doleman, Jerry Rice

While the 1983 draft had the most first-rounders that ended up in Canton, you can make a case that the 1989 draft had the most impressive first five selections. In that draft, four of the first five selections made the Hall of Fame (Aikman No. 1, Sanders No. 3, Thomas No. 4, and Sanders No. 5) The only Top 5 selection not in the Hall? Tony Mandarich.

For another angle, let’s look at the 67 players selected to the Hall of Fame since 2000. In the last 13 Hall of Fame classes,  36 (53.7 percent) were first-round picks in the NFL draft. Here’s a breakdown of where the last 67 Hall of Famers elected were drafted in the NFL draft.

First Round: 36

Second Round: 7

Third Round: 7

Fourth Round: 2

Fifth Round: 1

Sixth Round or later: 7

Undrafted: 4 (Jack Butler, John Randle, Emmitt Thomas, Warren Moon)

Drafted in the Supplemental Draft: 1 (Steve Young)

No NFL draft: 2 (Benny Friedman, Fritz Pollard)

Here’s another quick stat… of the Hall of Famers elected since 2000, here are the players who were drafted with the lowest picks.

Pick, Round, Player

#245 (18th Round) Chris Hanburger

#203 (8th Round) Richard Dent

#192 (7th Round) Shannon Sharpe

#182 (7th Round) Rayfield Wright

#105 (4th Round) Harry Carson

#102 (13th Round) Nick Buoniconti

Did you know? Of the 67 players selected to the NFL Hall of Fame since 2000, four were the No. 1 overall pick in the draft: Bruce Smith (1985),  Aikman (1989), John Elway (1983) and Ron Yary (1968)

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp