Final 2009 Passing Yards Per Attempt

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 03, 2010



(Passing yards per attempt is a "Quality Stat" because it has a direct correlation to winning football games. Click here to read more about this "Stat That Matters." Passing YPA also cuts through the complex clutter of the passer rating formula and gives you a number that actually means something.
 
NOTE: Most stat-keepers do not calculate passing YPA properly! They ignore sacks, as if these game-changing plays don't matter! If you want to know why our passing yards per attempt figures are more accurate than any others you'll find anywhere, see the information below the chart.)
 
PASSING YARDS PER ATTEMPT UPDATE
Success in the passing game almost always leads to success on the football field. The 2009 season was no exception. The Saints won the first Super Bowl in franchise history, after a season in which they finished No. 2 in Passing YPA. Perhaps more importantly, New Orleans finished the year No. 1 in Passer Rating Differential. In other words, they dominated the passing game on both sides of the ball more than any team in the NFL.
 
San Diego and its quarterback Philip Rivers were slightly more effective than Drew Brees and the Saints passing the ball in 2009. The Chargers failed to make an impact in the postseason. But their league-best passing attack did result in a 13-3 record, the second best mark in franchise history.
 
Meanwhile, look out for Houston. An expansion franchise in 2002, the organization has struggled to find its way in the NFL. But the Texans enjoyed the first winning season (9-7) in their brief history in 2009. Naturally, you find the reasons for success in the passing game: Matt Schaub and the Texans boasted a Super Bowl caliber passing attack with an impressive 7.51 YPA. That kind of effectiveness gives Houston a Super Bowl-caliber passing attack ... provided the team's young defensive stars can finally live up to expectations.
 
Final 2009 Passing Yards Per Attempt
  Team Att. Yards Sacks Yards Lost YPA
1 San Diego 519 4,506 26 168 7.96
2 New Orleans 544 4,490 21 144 7.69
3 Houston 593 4,803 26 153 7.51
4 Indianapolis 601 4,605 13 90 7.35
5 Dallas 550 4,483 34 196 7.34
6 New England 592 4,540 18 104 7.27
7 Pittsburgh 536 4,496 50 348 7.08
8 Minnesota 554 4,403 34 247 7.07
9 N.Y. Giants 542 4,246 32 227 7.00
10 Green Bay 553 4,492 50 300 6.95
11 Philadelphia 553 4,380 40 298 6.88
12 Arizona 595 4,205 26 184 6.48
13 Baltimore 510 3,637 37 224 6.24
14 Tennessee 476 3,118 14 73 6.21
15 Denver 558 3,825 34 198 6.13
16 Washington 533 3,797 45 297 6.06
17 Atlanta 570 3,697 27 126 5.98
18 Jacksonville 519 3,599 44 238 5.97
19 Chicago 563 3,677 34 203 5.82
20 Cincinnati 477 3,134 29 244 5.71
21 N.Y. Jets 392 2,596 30 216 5.64
22 Carolina 465 3,070 33 271 5.62
23 Miami 545 3,396 34 226 5.47
24 Seattle 609 3,771 41 268 5.39
25 San Francisco 528 3,293 40 241 5.37
26 Tampa Bay 525 3,136 32 161 5.34
27 Buffalo 441 2,789 46 274 5.16
28 Detroit 585 3,471 42 303 5.05
29 Kansas City 537 3,183 45 268 5.01
30 Oakland 485 2,875 48 318 4.80
31 St. Louis 542 2,962 44 284 4.57
32 Cleveland 443 2,255 30 179 4.39
 
 
***
 
 
Here's a little look at our passing yards per attempt formula and why it's superior to others.
 
Only our YPA is correct
Most every team yards per attempt figure you see out there is wrong! Or, at the very least, it's not calculated properly. Go to ESPN.com, Yahoo Sports, wherever. Basically, a lot of places like that will publish a net yards figure and then, in the next column, the yards per attempt figure will be based upon gross passing yards. The math just doesn't add up, at least not when you use the published figures.
 
So here's what you'll find from the Cold, Hard Football Facts. We use only NET passing figures to determine yards per attempt. This is gross passing yards, minus yards lost via sacks, divided by passsing attempts. If we were merely looking at individual quarterbacks and their yards per attempt, we might (might!) be inclined to use gross passing yards, so as not to penalize the quarterback if he has a sieve of an offensive line.
 
Sacks count as pass attempts
Our yards per pass attempt is a "Quality Stat" – a stat that has a direct correlation to victory. So we're looking at team data. After all, it's teams that win and lose football games.
 
There's more to our calculations, though. Instead of just dividing the net passing yardage by pass attempts, we add in the number of sacks to the attempts column. We believe this gives a far more accurate gauge of a team's ability to pass the ball. After all, when a QB is sacked, it's because he was attempting to pass. Why shouldn't this attempt to pass count as an attempt?
 
For example, if a quarterback attempts 10 passes for 100 yards, his yards per attempt is 10.0 YPA. Easy enough, right? But what if that QB was sacked three times and lost 22 yards? Suddenly, the team's passing YPA is a mere 6.0 (78/13).
 
Hey, the team only gained 78 net yards when attempting to pass. And those 3 sacks came on attempts to pass. So, to accurately measure a team's ability to pass, that's our formula:
  • Net passing yards/(pass attempts + sacks allowed)

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