Action Plays – Plays in which a quarterback dropped back to pass or ran with the ball: pass attempts + rush attempts + sacks – kneels – spikes
ANY/A – adjusted net yards per pass attempt (really per dropback): (pass yards + 20*(pass TD) – 45*(interceptions thrown) – sack yards)/(passing attempts + sacks)
AP1 – first team Associated Press or UPI All Pro
AV – Approximate Value: Pro Football Reference’s detailed metric for measuring a player’s individual contribution in a given season. Read the fine print.
AY/A – Adjusted yards per pass attempt: (pass yards + 20*(pass TD) – 45*(interceptions thrown))/(passing attempts).
Dropbacks – The times a quarterback drops back to pass: Pass attempts + sacks.
Equivalency Rating: An era-adjusted version of the NFL Passer Rating that uses floating coefficients that are determined by league averages in a given season. See the fine print.
Frye QB Rating – Simply put: (TAY/P)*10. This takes the output from TAY/P and turns it into a rating that should be familiar to casual fans.
Log5 – Bill James’ formula to determine the probability of victory for one team against another, using each team’s W% as inputs. The chances that team A will defeat team B are:
(W%A – W%A*W%B) / (W%A + W%B – 2*W%A*W%B)
Marginal – I will use this term often. Marginal, at this site, means relative to league average. Thus, if a quarterback’s completion rate is 50% when the league average is 60%, his marginal completion rate is (50% – 60% =) -10%. This can also be applied to volume stats. For instance, if that same quarterback attempted 400 passes, he would have produced (-10% * 400 =) -40 marginal completions. In other words, if he completed passes at a league average rate, he would be expected to complete 40 more passes than he actually did.
New TAY/P – See TAY and TAY/P for the complete breakdown of the base stat for this metric. New TAY/P is simply standard TAY/P with only half credit given to quarterbacks for receiving yards gained after the catch.
NY/A – net yards per pass attempt (really per dropback): (pass yards – sack yards)/(passing attempts + sacks).
With a lower limit of 0 and an upper limit of 158.33. A little algebra shows us that this formula is essentially equal to:
PB – Pro Bowl: Includes any time a player made the Pro Bowl as a starter, backup, or alternate.
PA – Points allowed: the number of points a team cedes.
PF – Points for: the number of points a team scores.
PFR – Pro Football Reference: the greatest football database known to man or alien.
Pythagenpat Record – Similar to the Pythagorean record below, but the exponent changes based on the scoring environment:
Exponent = ((PF + PA) / G).248
Pythagorean Record – Based on Bill James’ formula to measure a baseball team’s true strength, this formula uses points scored and points allowed to determine a more accurate proxy for winning percentage:
PF2.37 / (PF2.37 + PA2.37)
Real Playoff Record – Gives players, teams, and coaches credit for making and advancing in the playoffs. All first round byes count as a win, and all playoff misses count as a loss. This helps a guy like Peyton Manning and hurts a guy like Eli Manning.
SPat – Strength-of-schedule-adjusted Pythagenpat Rating. Start by finding Pythagenpat scores as described above. Then convert Pythagenpat scores into Win Ratios (WR):
W = PPat * 16
L – (1 – PPat) * 16
WR = W / (W + L)
Now find the product (Z) of team and opponent Win Ratios
Z = WRteam * WRopp
Last, convert back to Win Probability (SPat)
SPat = 1 / [1 + (1 / Z)]
This will give you a number that looks similar to the standard Pythagorean or Pythagenpat score, but it will be adjusted based on a team’s opponents.
TAY – Total Adjusted Yards: Generally, this is a comprehensive measure of offensive output, which takes positive and negative plays into account. The measurement is Yards + 20*touchdowns + 9*first downs that aren’t touchdowns – 45*interceptions – 25*fumbles. This metric is also used to measure passing, rushing, and receiving production from individual players.
TAY/P – Total adjusted yards per play: A holistic quarterback rating that turns a QB’s whole stat line into a number similar to ANY/A, with which stat guys should be familiar: [(net pass yards + rush yards – yards lost on kneels) + 20*(pass touchdowns + rush touchdowns) – 45*interceptions – 25*fumbles + 9*((pass first downs + rush first downs) – touchdowns)] / (action plays).
This can also be used to measure teamwide offensive efficiency, so context is important.
*Note that, for individuals, first down data is only readily available back to 1991, and spike and kneel data is only readily available back to 2002.
W% – Win percentage: (win + 0.5*ties) / (wins + losses + ties).
Weighted Playoff Score – Gives players, teams, and coaches credit for winning big games (think of it as a way to further a narrative using math). Advancing to the playoffs counts as 1 point; making the divisional round is worth 2.5 points; making a conference championship game is worth 5 points; making it to the Super Bowl is worth 10 points; and winning the Super Bowl is worth 20 points.
YScm (or YFS) – Yards from scrimmage: Rushing yards + receiving yards.
|BLT||Baltimore Colts (defunct)|
|CRD||Chicago/St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals|
|DLX||Dallas Texans NFL|
|GNB||Green Bay Packers|
|KC||Kansas City Chiefs|
|LAC||Los Angeles Chargers|
|LAD||Los Angeles Dons|
|LARD||Los Angeles Raiders|
|LARM||Los Angeles Rams|
|NE||New England Patriots|
|NOR||New Orleans Saints|
|NYB||New York Bulldogs|
|NYG||New York Giants|
|NYJ||New York Jets|
|NYT||New York Titans|
|NYY||New York Yankees|
|NYY||New York Yanks|
|RAI||Oakland/Los Angeles Rams|
|RAM||Cleveland/Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams|
|SD||San Diego Chargers|
|SF||San Francisco 49ers|
|STC||St. Louis Cardinals|
|STL||St. Louis Rams|
|TB||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
I’ve been asked about my choice of colors to represent teams (especially in regards to Tampa Bay). The answer is simple: Certain color combinations that look good on jerseys actually become very hard to read when put into a table. White on orange is easier to read than is red on pewter. I do it for you, trust me.