Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Some Week 13 Information

I've been curious about some football stats, and not knowing where to look them up (and not willing to pay for them), I decided to find them out by myself. Curiously, my sources didn't seem to provide the home team, or the time of possession statistic. I'm sure that's available, but I don't have time right now to look it up.

In any case, here are some things I wanted to find out, and the results of week 13 in the National Football League. First, some statistics that are thought to help a team:

- The team that scored first won ten of the sixteen games.
- Twelve times a two-score lead was taken in a game. Nine times, the lead held, whereas three teams came back to win.
- The team with the most first downs won just five games and lost ten.
- The team with the most total yards went 8-8.
- The team with the most rushing yards, however, went 10-6.
- I assumed that most passing yards could easily favor the losing team, who often throw more when trying to come from behind so I didn't count it. Instead, I look for passing efficiency, and the team with more yards per pass play went 11-5.
- The team with the most field goal attempts, which I think suggests superior control of field position, went 8-4.

As to some "bad" stats:

- The team that was sacked more went just 3-8.
- The team that punted more went 3-6.
- The team with the most penalties went 7-8.
- The team with the most penalty yards went 7-9.
- The team that missed more field goals went 4-5.
- Now here's the most telling statistic: the team with the most turnovers went 0-13.

I knew that turnovers were bad, but I didn't think having more turnovers would be worse than getting behind by two scores early. As to the three teams that came back from 10 or 14 points, one was even on turnovers (Titans over Colts), the Falcons had a +2 turnover margin over the Redskins, and the Seahawks were +4 over the Broncos.

0-13 in turnovers may be flukey, but it is clear that turnover margin is the most important statistic in football.


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