Towards a better understanding of pressure rates and offensive line play

This all got started by an interesting comment by skepticismissurvival on the NFL subreddit, who made an observation that, like most good observations, seems obvious in hindsight: the pressure rate allowed by an offensive line is not a great measure of pass protection because it depends in part on how long their QB holds the ball. There is wide variation in release time, which varied from Alex Smith at 2.38 seconds to Tyrod Taylor at 3.12 seconds in 2016. We should not expect the Chiefs and…

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Is there a relationship between passing volume and efficiency?

Arguing on the internet A common argument on the internet (e.g. Twitter, where I spent too much time) is that the efficiency of players like Prescott and Wilson in their rookie seasons (and subsequent seasons, for Wilson) was not impressive because they were not asked to throw the ball as much. Once they are asked to throw more often, the argument goes, we can expect their efficiency to fall off. Here is one of many, many examples: This stat is misleading. Seahawks were ranked 32nd,…

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How strong is the relationship between offensive line play and team strength?

In recent years, the Seattle Seahawks have had a notoriously poor offensive line. In the past 5 years, Pro Football Focus (PFF) has ranked their line as 20, 27, 19, 30, and 32 out of the 32 teams in the league. At the same time, the team finished #1 in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric in 4 of those 5 years, and #9 in the other year. On the other hand, there are the Cleveland Browns, whose line has been a consistent strength of the team.…

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Statistically Speaking: Bob Waterfield

This is the second installment of the Statistically Speaking series, in which we look at the statistical profile of the NFL’s legendary quarterbacks. The first player covered was Slingin’ Sammy Baugh, the game’s first real superstar passer. Today’s player, Bob Waterfield, was much like Baugh in many respects. Like Baugh, Waterfield was a star passer with box office appeal. Also like Baugh, Waterfield was a gifted kicker and punter, and a respected defender. To top it off, Waterfield, like Baugh, joined a team with limited…

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Statistically Speaking: Sammy Baugh

This is the first in a series I am calling “Statistically Speaking,” in which I will discuss several legendary quarterbacks and what the numbers say about their careers. The plan is to focus on the Hall of Fame players first, and then move on to other players of note if time permits. In an era when most who write about players and numbers do so to predict the future or help subscribers win fantasy football leagues, a series on long-retired and culturally irrelevant players probably…

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Bryan’s 2016 All Pro Team

This is not the official GridFe All Pro team. It is the opinion of just one man, based on game play, overall impact, and statistical production. My positions and criteria were flexible; if I thought Von Miller deserved to make the first team over a traditional linebacker, I gave Miller the spot. If I thought Reshad Jones played well enough in six games to warrant a shout out on the third team, I did it. If I thought Luke Kuechly played better than Bobby Wagner,…

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New TAYP Quick Update

If you’re familiar with my work, you know I created the metric New TAY/P to measure quarterback play, using only inputs widely available on sites like Pro Football Reference, NFL.com, ESPN, Sporting Charts, etc.1 I wouldn’t put it on par with other advanced stats, such as Total QBR, DVOA, or EPA/P, which are the cream of the quarterback efficiency stat crop. However, it does have the advantage of being completely transparent and easy to calculate on a napkin, in case you’re the sort who likes…

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Positive Yards Per Attempt: Update

If I could only share one thing from my time doing football analytics, it would be the following principle: Positive plays carry more weight than negative plays in determining the winner of a football game. I’ve already written a couple of articles on this subject and hope to further the cause with this update. Overview For those of you who don’t feel like reading the previous two posts, I’ll give you the basic gist. Since passing has a far greater impact on winning than running, I’ve…

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Your favorite team had a great draft

I. Ben’s 2017 Draft Grades Team A I loved team A’s draft. Despite trading back into the second round, with their first pick they were able to draft the #8 overall player per Josh Norris. Back in May 2016, PFF ranked this player #7 overall in their early mock draft. In my mind, there’s no doubt team A got a steal and a top 10 overall player with the #35 pick in the draft. With their next pick, at #58, they took the #49 overall…

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Passing First Downs: Career Rankings

Yesterday I detailed the best and worst QB seasons as measured by first down percentage. Today’s post will reveal how these signal callers stack up over the course of their careers. I chose to exclude any QB who totaled at least 100 dropbacks in any season prior to 1991, because incomplete data can often be worse than no data at all. From there, I’m including QB’s who took a significant numbers of snaps in at least two seasons (a  judgment call). This gives us a…

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