Stat Analysis

Advanced analytics on player and team performance

Stat Analysis

Understudy in Contrasts

It's the holy grail of football research: How do you separate the ability of a running back from the ability of his blockers? Michael David Smith has a simple first step, comparing the great running backs of the past to their backups. Find out the answers to such questions as "What is the best offensive line to have no members in Canton?" and "Who the heck is Barry Redden?" (No, he's not "the other Tick" -- that was Barry Hubris.)

Portis Uber Alles

Aaron on the big year Clinton Portis should expect in Washington, and the big shoes he leaves behind in Denver. Quentin Griffin fans are not going to be pleased.

Ricky Williams Retires

Or, as the article was originally titled, Ricky Williams is Pretty Much Screwed. Perhaps Ricky knew this and it helped him make his decision. Here's the article we wrote for the new book Pro Football Forecast, when everyone thought Ricky was coming back for 2004 and wanted to know if he would return to his 2002 performance level. Read and learn something you didn't know about Eric Dickerson -- and something Ravens fans won't want to know about Jamal Lewis. Plus, some comments on possible Ricky replacements, and the picture that clearly shows why Miami is in trouble.

2 comments, Last at 30 Jul 2009, 9:18am by Reliable but

Press Check: Pass Interference Changes

From July 2004, here's our look at what to expect after the renewed enforcement of illegal contact, along with a 2005 update on where we were right, and where we were wrong. Hint: The prediction of one veteran receiver's first 1,000-yard season was right on the money.

8 comments, Last at 13 Jun 2005, 5:33pm by Jeff F

Hard Times for the Class of '96

It started as an article about Terrell Owens moving to the Eagles. Look closer, however, and an interesting pattern emerges. Marvin Harrison, Eric Moulds, Amani Toomer, Keyshawn Johnson, Owens: all of them declined in 2003. What is in store for the greatest wide receiver draft class of all time as they enter their ninth seasons in the NFL?

Press Check: Run Defense, Continued

Last week's article on run defense spawned a good discussion that featured a lot of interesting questions. Aaron buries his nose in the Football Outsiders NFL database (don't let it fall into the wrong hands!) to find the answers.

1 comment, Last at 05 Aug 2005, 8:46pm by David Brude

Press Check: Run Defense

In which Aaron attempts, yet again, to pierce a hole in the conventional wisdom among football writers that says run defense is the best indicator of a team's playoff chances.

Similarity Scores

Just the start of another attempt to translate a classic baseball analysis tool into the world of the NFL.

Even More Complete Failures

And, yea, did the readers of Football Outsiders request new data. They wanted to see the list of failed completes re-ordered by the percentage of total pass plays. They wanted to see the list of failed completes by defense rather than offense. And, yea, did the Football Outsiders comply, and left the analysis up to the readers.

Complete Failures

Quarterbacks are judged on their completion percentage, but not every complete pass is a successful play. Introducing a new statistic that tells which teams padded their numbers with short passes, failed third down conversions, and the dreaded reception for a loss of yardage.