Secrets of the universe!

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jun 03, 2009



The Cold, Hard Football Facts are like the Starship Enterprise, boldly going where no site has gone before in an effort to unlock the secrets of the gridiron universe.
 
Not so coincidentally, our readers are like Trekkies: socially inadequate shut-ins with a poor sense of fashion and incapable of forming relationships with members of the opposite sex ever since Giuliani shut down all the peep-show booths in Times Square.
 
It's a mismatch made in the heavens.
 
Our efforts to unlock the secrets of the pigskin universe are best exemplified by our Quality Stats. And we've been kicking around some new indicators for the 2009 season. One that seems to have some promise is what we're calling Passer Rating Differential. (We looked at the Passer Rating Differential of every Super Bowl champion last week.)
 
Our Quality Stats, for all you newcoming Trekkie types, are those stats that have a direct correlation to winning football games. Some stats, such as passing yards, to use the most notable example, have virtually no correlation to success outside of the imaginary world of fantasy football.
 
So we use our Quality Stats to cut through the statistical muck and the mire and use only those indicators that actually matter.
 
We already put a lot of stock in Defensive Passer Rating, which has been one of our Quality Stats for a few years now. We also put a lot of stock in passer rating, too. The passer rating metric has plenty of critics. But over the years we've found that teams that perform well in passer rating generally win games and, of course, individual quarterbacks with high passer ratings are generally the most successful.
 
The NFL is all about passing the ball effectively, and passer rating tends to reinforce this fact. However, because passer rating is used often and fairly well understood, we've never actually adopted it as an "official" Quality Stat, even though we do like it.
 
In any case, the early results indicate that Passer Rating Differential could provide a new way of measuring the overall quality of each team. We simply subtract Defensive Passer Rating from offensive passer rating.
 
As you'll see below, most of the best teams last year (with some notable exceptions) were generally the teams with the best Passer Rating Differential. There are virtually no exceptions at the bottom of the list: Teams that were the poorest in Passer Rating Differential were also clearly the poorest on the field, too.
 
This chart represents just one year's worth of data. As is the case with all our Quality Stats, we're working to build a historic database of information that will give us more ammunition to judge the effectivness of the indicator and the effectiveness of individual teams.
 
2008 Passer Rating Differential (* denotes playoff team)
 
Team
OPR
DPR
Differential
1
Ravens*
82.8
60.6
22.2
2
Packers
93.3
71.9
21.4
3
Dolphins*
97.6
77.0
20.6
4
Steelers*
81.9
63.4
18.5
5
Colts*
94.7
78.1
16.6
6
Chargers*
105.5
90.3
15.2
7
Saints
95.4
80.3
15.1
8
Giants*
88.2
76.7
11.5
9
Redskins
85.2
75.6
9.6
10
Titans*
78.8
69.2
9.6
11
Eagles*
81.4
72.9
8.5
12
Buccaneers
83.8
75.3
8.5
13
Panthers*
84.7
81.4
3.3
14
Falcons*
87.7
84.6
3.1
15
Bears
77.1
77.2
-0.1
16
Patriots
89.1
89.8
-0.7
17
Cardinals*
96.1
96.9
-0.8
18
Vikings*
81.5
82.5
-1.0
19
Cowboys
84.9
86.2
-1.3
20
Bills
81.3
83.1
-1.8
21
49ers
81.4
85.0
-3.6
22
Texans
88.4
92.3
-3.9
23
Raiders
71.6
79.3
-7.7
24
Jets
80.2
88.1
-7.9
25
Broncos
85.9
98.5
-12.6
26
Chiefs
77.5
91.1
-13.6
27
Jaguars
81.4
95.4
-14.0
28
Bengals
68.0
87.3
-19.3
29
Seahawks
72.5
96.0
-23.5
30
Browns
54.8
79.7
-24.9
31
Rams
66.9
92.4
-25.5
32
Lions
71.3
110.8
-39.5

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