Category Archives: Offense

2019 GridFe Hall of Fame Offense

The GridFe Hall of Fame 2019 class features no quarterbacks and is heavy on running backs, tight ends, and linemen.1 Unlike the defensive hall of fame class, the offense features no active players. In fact, the most recent player last played in 1988. Perhaps that’s indicative of more clearly worthy defensive players in today’s league, or maybe it simply means more voters have taken a wait-and-see approach with regards to positions that have seen significant stat inflation in recent years.2 It’s outlandish to believe that…

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The Surprising Utility of QB Touchdown Stats

In the analytics community, using touchdowns to measure player performance is generally looked down upon; touchdowns are great for fantasy football but don’t matter in real football. I agree with this line of thinking for running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends. But I think touchdowns can be a very useful took for evaluating quarterbacks if done in the right context. I’ll start by saying that using touchdowns to measure single game performance is a terrible idea. If QB A tosses three goal line TD…

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Sweetness Awards 1920-2017

Named after the most well-rounded offensive weapon in history, Walter Payton, the Sweetness Award is presented to the top offensive player in the league each year. The the chagrin of some, this is going to focus pretty heavily on statistical production, which often limits the chances of the big fellas up front from getting their deserved recognition. Sweetness Awards from 1920 to 1931 rely on spotty records and a mountain of hagiography. We can’t know for sure if Benny Friedman really led the league with…

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Surplus Yards: QB Seasons

Earlier this month, I introduced a new stat called Surplus Yards over at Football Perspective. If you haven’t read that post, please do so before perusing the data I’m presenting today. The intro article looked back at the 2017 season, and this post will cover the 24 years for which I have appropriate data. I calculated and archived every 40+ yard completion since 1994. The chart below shows the league average Surplus % for each of the last 24 seasons: The overall average from 1994-2017…

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Why do NFL teams run so often? (no, seriously: why?)

Thanks to Yurko, Ventura, and Horowitz (2018), we now have reliable estimates for the expected points added (EPA) and win probability added (WPA) of every NFL play from 2009 through 2017. A consistent pattern that has emerged from this data is that on average, rushing lowers a team’s chance of scoring (as measured by EPA) and winning (as measured by WPA). And yet, on 1st and 10, NFL teams ran the ball 53 percent of the time in 2017. In order for rushing so frequently to…

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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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Adjusted Points Per Drive 2016

Last year, I created a metric for measuring offensive efficiency called Adjusted Points Per Drive (AdjPPD). Today I’ll be updating the numbers for 2016. If you aren’t familiar with AdjPPD, I strongly encourage you to read the full explanation here. Overview When measured on a per-drive basis, 2016 was the highest scoring season in the last twenty years, and probably in the history of the NFL (drive stats only go back to 1997, so we can’t be absolutely certain). After adjusting for field position, the average…

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Historical Total Adjusted Yards Averages

In preparation for my series on the statistical production of every quarterback since 1932, I thought it would be helpful to publish today’s post as a reference for what will follow. The three tables below contain the historical Total Adjusted Yards averages for every season in NFL, AFL, and AAFC history (98 league seasons in all).1 Normally, I measure value based on TAY/P relative to league average, multiplied by total plays. However, for this series I decided to measure performance versus a three year average…

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Adjusted Scrimmage Yards

Adjusted Scrimmage Yards is not a new concept at The GridFe; I used the metric last season to measure offensive output from skill players. However, I have never given the metric its own post, so I decided to change that. Today, I want to take a look at the top single seasons and total careers, as measured by Adjusted Scrimmage Yards, since 1992. For those unfamiliar with the metric, the formula is: Rushing and Receiving Yards + Rushing and Receiving Touchdowns*11 + Rushing and Receiving First…

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Yards From Scrimmage Monsters

Today I want to take a look at skill player production as measured by yards from scrimmage. I will look at top performers in standard yards from scrimmage, yards from scrimmage prorated to a 16 game schedule, and yards from scrimmage over multiple baselines. This isn’t meant to be a list of the greatest offensive players in history, but it will certainly shed some light on players who may have been underrated in the eyes of the masses. The methodology for these metrics is very…

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